Skip to main content

About this Show

Capitol Hill Hearings

News/Business.

NETWORK

DURATION
05:00:00

RATING

SCANNED IN
San Francisco, CA, USA

SOURCE
Comcast Cable

TUNER
Channel 91 (627 MHz)

VIDEO CODEC
mpeg2video

AUDIO CODEC
ac3

PIXEL WIDTH
704

PIXEL HEIGHT
480

TOPIC FREQUENCY

Us 66, Sandy 36, America 27, Mr. Rogers 27, Mrs. Lowey 24, Superstorm Sandy 20, Kentucky 17, New Jersey 16, California 15, Louisiana 12, Mexico 11, Mr. Garamendi 10, Washington 8, U.s. 8, Pennsylvania 7, United States 7, Mr. Frelinghuysen 7, Katrina 7, Rogers 6, Fema 5,
Borrow a DVD
of this show
  CSPAN    Capitol Hill Hearings    News/Business.  

    January 15, 2013
    8:00 - 1:00am EST  

8:00pm
orth in america. i'm looking forward to the debate. we need to bring business principles back to washington, d.c. so i yield back the balance of my time and may god bless america. thank you. mr. messer: thank you. i would next like to recognize my good friend, the distinguished the gentleman from michigan. >> thank you for bringing me to the floor today. it is a privilege and honor to be a member of the house of representatives, the people's house. we have all been sent here to serve the people and i look forward to representing the hard-working people of michigan. mr. bentivolio: members of the first congress were summoned to uphold and defend the constitution. because of the constitution,
8:01pm
america became a shining symbol of freedom a prosperity to the world. today, we must ensure that america retains that lust ter. everyone arrives here from different walks of life. some are lawyers, some are business leaders and yes, well, at least one of us is a reindear rancher. i recognize we have different viewpoints and i have joined congress during a contentious time. i do think, however, there is one thing on which we should all agree, the job of a member of congress is to protect the rights of the people, not take them away. the national debt is approaching $17 trillion. the decisions we make in this chamber, not only affect us today, they resonate throughout future generations. the massive national debt we are
8:02pm
accruing will leave to our children a weaker nation than the one we inherited from our parents. those yet to be born do not have a voice today. they don't have representation. but we must remember what we do here resonates for generations to come. our moment to preserve our great nation has arrived. our country is at a crossroads. we must stand together and get over our disagreements. we must strive valiantly and dare greatly, applying the principles that made our country so exceptional to solve the problems that the people of this great nation sent us here to do. thank you. i yield back my time. mr. messer: thank you distinguished the gentleman from michigan. mr. speaker, i want to thank you for your time and help tonight
8:03pm
and other distinguished member of the freshman class and hope we have opportunities to participate in these special orders as several have alluded to. our idea here is to be part of the public debate. every one of us in this room tonight, everybody watching has grown up in an america, no matter where you came from, if you worked hard and stayed focus in this great country, you would the opportunity to build a life for yourself. you would have the opportunity to live the american freedom. in my life, as i travel through indiana and talk to people across this country, people are doubting whether that will be true. whether the next generation of young people will have the same kind of opportunities that we all had growing up. it is not an exaggeration to say the upcoming debate is about the
8:04pm
question about what are we willing to do some save our country and does washington have enough? how much more must they take from the hard-working americans, tax paying americans who are trying to put their life together every day. i and my colleagues who spoke earlier today believe that washington has enough. we don't need to give her more. mr. speaker, i yield back the balance of my time. thank you. the chair: under the speaker's announced policy of january 3, 2013, the gentleman from california, mr. garamendi, is recognized for 60 minutes as the designee of the minority leader. mr. garamendi: i thank you, mr. speaker. it's good -- it is very, very good that the new 113th congress acted today to reach out in
8:05pm
sympathy, compassion and with real support to the people who were so severely impacted by superstorm sandy. one of our colleagues just a moment ago spoke about this nation being at a crossroads, and indeed, we crossed paths many, many times and there are many different crossroads. the people of pennsylvania, new jersey, new york, connecticut and other parts of this great nation here on the east coast, came to a crossroads. that crossroad was 97 days ago when superstorm sandy came ashore and whacked and destroyed and indeed, killed americans.
8:06pm
we stood tall and said we are one nation, we are one nation and when one of us is harmed, we'll stand with that person. when one's state is harmed, we'll stand with that state, and we will come together, just as my colleagues said a moment ago, we will come together, to provide what is needed to rebuild, to sustain, to provide for those who have been harmed, can carry on. there's a lesson here for all of us. and tonight, my democratic colleagues and i, will talk about the lesson that superstorm sandy brought to this nation. certainly one of those lessons has been fulfilled today. as a great nation, we will provide what is needed for the rebuilding, for the immediate needs, even though it's 97 days
8:07pm
late. we will provide. because we are a compassionate nation. there is also another lesson here, and that lesson is for this entire nation to get ahead of the next disaster. it will come. and it will be another storm up the east coast, or into the gulf. it will be an earthquake in my state of california, or a flood, or a fire. but there will be yet another natural disaster of one sort or another, perhaps manmade, perhaps mother nature. what we must do as a nature is to get ahead of that, to prepare ourselves not only with emergency responses, but more and just as important, to prepare the infrastructure to protect the lives and the
8:08pm
property of the citizens of this nation. that's the second lesson of superstorm sandy. build the infrastructure to prepare for the next flood, the next hurricane, the next onslaught of mother nature. in so doing, we not only reduce the cost of that next storm, that next flood, but we also save the lives of americans. and we put people to work right now. this nation is not yet fully recovered from the recession of 2008. this nation has not yet fully brought americans back to work, and we can do so taking the lesson of this day's action here on the floor of the house of representatives. where we -- at least most of us
8:09pm
-- voted to build for the future, voted to put in place those infrastructure improvements, not for yesterday, not to rebuild just what was there that was destroyed, but rather to build for the future onslaught of a storm coming into new jersey, new york, connecticut, or other parts of this nation. to be prepared. the boy could you tell motto, be prepared. -- the boy scout motto, be prepared. an ounce of prevention is an ounce of cure. and today, we want to talk about infrastructure investment, the kind of things that was done here on the floor, some $33 billion going not only for immediate relief, but to build the infrastructure necessary to protect and prepare for the next storm. joining me today in this discussion, at least at the
8:10pm
outset, is my colleague from new york, paul tonko. we often meet here on the floor. we sometimes call this the east coast-west coast show. i'm from california. representative tonko is from new york. you were there not only for this storm but the previous and that was less than 18 months ago. let's talk about these things, mr. tonko. mr. tonko: thank you for bringing us together on the floor where i think it's important to pay attention to the needs out there as they relate to the damages that were brought upon certain areas of the country by mother nature. yes, there has been a lot of focus on this superstorm sandy that really had its presence felt just to the south of my given congressional district. however, there was some damages to the northern reaches of upstate new york, the more northern sections, as we traveled north of the metro
8:11pm
area. but suffice it to say, the need here for assistance, by not only new york, but new jersey and connecticut, where the proper of new york, the metro area, new york city, long island, were impacted severely. the fringe elements in my area, not as much. but certainly new jersey and connecticut were hard hit. but just over a year before that storm, you are absolutely right. we were impacted by irene and lee. a double dose of damage that wrelly impacted my give -- really impacted my congressional district. it looked like a war-torn area as was the case here with superstorm sandy. and this nation whenever impacted by natural or manmade
8:12pm
disasters found a response by congress that whoever that person might be at the the time working with congress, expedited the assistance, wanted to get the aid there with a high degree of urgency. what we saw here was uncalled delays as people languished. we have to look at the human element, the human costs of 88 americans that were impacted, life lost because of this tremendous devastation, the impact that befell so many communities with infrastructure being damaged severely, if not destroyed totally. it was also about the impact on the business community, the loss to commerce and certainly property damage that people are going to have to respond to over a long course of comeback that i have witnessed in my district with that storm as you indicated, being more than a year ago. it is important for us as a nation to be responsive and be
8:13pm
responsible. that has always been the measure coming forth from this nation, understanding that with sensitivity, what needed to be done in getting aid to people. that's what it's all about. and so, today, when finally a vote was taken from 70 days after superstorm sandy hit, 70-plus days after the storm hit, finally we get a response, when so much pain and anguish was allowed to continue unnecessaryly so. the infrastructure fractures in this country, storms aside, needs to be addressed. the american society of civil engineers have created many of our bridges into a declassification, a poor grade, deficiencies that are out there, brought to our attention. so not only doll we need to respond to these tragedies and respond to our given
8:14pm
infrastructure, but i think what happens here is an opportunity to come forward about job creation, providing for the trades and skills, trades people to be put into work. that is so important for our economy. so important for our public safety. so important for emergency response as we witnessed here in the northeast of the country. and so, while the fight was long and at times, unnecessary, at least the vote was taken today and we move forward. mr. garamendi: thank you, mr. tonko. the bill now is out of this house. it's already in the senate. we expect the senate to pass it probably tomorrow or the next day. certainly before the inaugural on monday and then the president will sign it shortly thereafter. bringing that kind of relief. you mentioned the jobs issue and people need to go to work. when we have these natural disasters and we come forward
8:15pm
with the kind of support that we have seen today and will soon be available for new jersey, new york, connecticut and the surrounding areas, people go back to work. those people that have received immediate fema support for housing, for clothing, for food, that money is immediately spent into the economy. on the infrastructure side, it's crucial when the subways of lower manhattan flooded, the world's financial institution took a whack, because it was shut down for several days. people couldn't get to work. so the entire world's economy slowed down costing of billions of dollars beyond just the damage. now, part of the bill that was passed today and the infrastructure improvements are the heart to prepare manhattan and the surrounding areas, the beach communities and others, for the next storm, to put up
8:16pm
the seawalls. what does that mean? the ounce of prevention and pound of cure has taken place, but it also means people are going to go to work. let me refer to this chart, this is from mark zandy, former economic adviser to john mccain. this is generally agreed to by most economists, for every dollar invested in infrastructure, you get $1.57 back into the american economy. so you're not just putting a dollar in, you are getting the american economy going, but putting people to work. buy food, pay taxes, support their families, and build for tomorrow's disaster. putting in place the infrastructure that is hardened, that is protected, eliminating the potential in this specific case of flooding of the subway systems in new york city. i know that you talked about doing this in your area for the
8:17pm
storm. you may want to pick that back and i want to come back and talk by my own district in california. . mr. tonko: people have said that there is a need for government, they want effective government, efficient government. well, i think when we look at some of the data that are collected, representative garamendi, it is important for us to acknowledge that as we rebuild in our areas that have been damaged by mother nature, you don't just replace, you need to improve upon the situation. for instance, if there are data that are telling us that more and more water volume is expected in certain watershed areas, as in my district, it would be foolish to spend tax dollars, the hard-earned taxpayer dollars, and simply replace an infrastructure, a bridge, at the same height, at the same span if in fact we
8:18pm
know that the water and the force of that water is growing with time. and so these are the ways to, i think, incorporate the soundness of academics and analyses that go into how we respond to this. and if much of it is driven by climate change, global warming, some of the impacts of mother nature that are causing these disruptive scenarios, then ought we not look at sound policy that then stretches our thinking and really puts a laser sharp focus onto these situations? so this is a call for a big picture view. it's a call for effective replacement and repair so that we're responding to data that are collected, that speak to the demographics that we should expect to have happen as we go forward. and as we rebuild, you know, making certain that there are those opportunities for waterfront communities to embrace their sense of
8:19pm
geography. i represent a district that is not only a donor area to natural resources, but also historic resources in those waterways. and people want to have waterfront opportunities. they want to rebuild their communities so as to utilize these natural resources as a marketing agent to draw people to the area. well, we can tame the mother nature impact in a way that allows us to go forward with this remarketing strategy, that allows us to utilize our sense of location, our place destination, and do it in a way that is possible because of preventative measures, because of retrofitting, that can take hold, and it's a way to utilize the engineering services out there, civil engineering, architectural opportunities, to build communities and build them in a way that allow us to have that sense of place, only
8:20pm
deepen rather than denied because we've walked away from what might have been damaged from mother nature and have abandoned those opportunities. mr. garamendi: you're speaking of something that is very close, i know, to your heart. i heard you speak on this issue some months ago. about some of the historic buildings that date back to the prerevolutionary war era in -- pre-revolutionary war era in new york. and it's interesting to note that in this sandy resolution that passed the house today, there are numerous reforms, improvements on the way in which the federal emergency management system works so that the historic resources can be rebuilt and maintained so that that sense of history, that sense of our past and who we are as americans is going to be there for future generations. some of the old rules and regulations made it vertly impossible to do that -- vertly impossible to do that -- virtualy impossible to do that. there's also other reforms that allow the projects, homes and
8:21pm
businesses to be rebuilt in a way that protects them from the future storms and the increased storms that you so aptly described. let me just take this home to my district. i represent the central valley of california. the great sacramento valley. 200 miles of it. literally from the beginning of san francisco bay, 200 miles up the sacramento river. and probably, i haven't been able to count all the levees in my district, but i probably have well over 1,500 miles of levees that protect large cities, medium-sized cities, farms and other critical assets and infrastructure in the state of california. for example, the intercontinental rail system. both north and south. intercontinental highway systems. universities. international airports. these critical assets are at risk of flooding. the army corps of engineers, taking a look at the levees in one part of my district, a
8:22pm
basin which is part of the city of sacramento, judges those levees to have a one in 30 chance of failure so that over a 30-year period of time it's anticipated there will be a catastrophic failure of those levees. 100,000 lives just in that part of sacramento at immediate risk because those flood waters, should those levees fail, it would make -- it would be a repeat of what happened in new orleans only the water is deeper. and the flood waters would rush in at least as fast, if not faster. a monumental disaster, international airport gone, highways gone and on and on. we need to get ahead of that. we need to build that infrastructure, those levees, to protect those assets. a penny of prevention, a pound of savings. so these are the kind of things that we can do and there are ways we can do this. yes, it may run up the immediate deficit, but once
8:23pm
again, for every dollar that we invest in those levees we not only save lives and property, but we put people to work and we get the economic engine going. further up in my district, again, along the sacramento and the rivers, i have a project that's 44 miles of levee that clearly will fail. it has failed four times in the last 60 years. lives have been lost. one of the most catastrophic failures of a levee happened in this stretch of river. we need to rebuild that. the federal government's role in these construction projects of these levees has gone back to the very beginning of this nation and it is congress' task to allocate the money to decide the projects that are going to be built. but unfortunately we tied ourselves in knots here with certain rules that have been put in by our republican colleagues that prevent us from taking the necessary action to protect our communities.
8:24pm
we're not talking about, you know, willy nily unnecessary projects. we're talking about saving -- nilly unnecessary projects. we're talking about saving lives and property. this is how we should be acting. rebuilding after a storm to a higher standard, building before the storm to protect our people. the people that we represent. these are critical issues. these are infrastructure projects. and we need to get on top of this and push these projects forward. yes, it will cost money. but not nearly as much as the cost of a levee failure because we failed to act in time. mr. tonko: you know, when you speak, representative garamendi, about the cost of these repairs or improvements, we're talking about a design team, we're talking about a construction team, we're talking about a maintenance team. and all of that translates into jobs. so these efforts are, yes, an
8:25pm
expenditure, but it's putting people to work and addressing not only public safety but commerce. again, my home county, which is split by an historic river was the scene of devastation, just over 25 years ago. where new york city state's throughway bridge collapsed because of the flooding that was occurring beneath that bridge. a creek that you could walk across, walk through, in the middle of summer was equal to, in c.f.s., the cubic feet per second flow, of niagara falls. and we lost 10 lives in that incident. and also saw the impact locally to commerce. it just disrupted the flow of activity to ship goods to whatever section of our area. it totally disrupted that
8:26pm
situation. so that is just a micros could much of impact of what happened -- microcosm of the impact of what happened. but you're very right. of the levees that may be at risk, that could be a challenge to public safety, the poor ratings of our many, many bridges across this country, the need to begin aggressively, to address these situations, means that you can bend that cost curve, simply by moving projects forward. because the longer we go in time, the more expensive it will be and the more risky it becomes with these deficient bridges. and so programs like the american jobs act or build america bonds, all of these efforts are a progressive bit of policy that then takes us to a new realm of thinking. it a -- a commitment to the safety of the people of this great country, a commitment to commerce and the doable qualities of having infrastructure vastly improved,
8:27pm
that enables us then to talk serious business about growing our nation's economy. so i think that, you know, the efforts here by the democratic caucus to bring to the attention of the full house the sort of positive thinking, the sort of planned opportunities that speak to the very nature of our infrastructure, and both of us represent states that rely heavily on well-developed and very well-maintained infrastructure, is indeed imperative. we need to move forward with a very strong, supportive statement to this nation about this nation's infrastructure. mr. garamendi: i'd like to move in just a moment to the issue of how we can actually help other parts of our economy grow as we build our infrastructure. but before i do, i was just thinking about the previous discussion from our republican colleagues, where they talked
8:28pm
about the deficit and the deficit and we ought to cut -- we ought to eliminate government programs. certainly there are government programs that are neither efficient, effective or necessary. and those, yes, those should be cut. but when you start talking about infrastructure, this is something that we really must do. it was said that for an expenditure of some $15 billion , new york city could have protected its subway system and the shoreline from the devastation of two major storms. one that occurred a year ago and another one that occurred just 97 days or three months ago, superstorm sandy. so if we get ahead of these disasters and build the necessary protections, for example, in my district, if we build those levees, yes, it will cost money, but in one area it's about $1 billion. very expensive. no doubt about it. but if we do not protect, do
8:29pm
not build those levees, the devastation will amount to several times that amount of money. that's precisely what happened in manhattan and in the new york city area. so, again, you spend that money up front, yes, you put people to work, yes, there may be an immediate issue of where and how we fund it, and that's a legitimate issue. but fail to do it and then the cost is horrendous. and, yes, if the state, the federal, the local government it's, individuals that are -- governments, individuals, that will all be an expense they have to endure. and superstorm sandy, the bill we saw today, is precisely on. that having said that, let's talk about the broader subject. you talked about build america bonds a minute ago. build america bonds were part of the stimulus program, a now almost 4 years old. that program created a new mechanism to assist local governments in providing the funding to build infrastructure. very, very successful in putting people back to work.
8:30pm
we could extend that. in doing so we will put people back to work, we will build the infrastructure, whether that's highs or -- highways or pridges -- bridges or whatever. when we do that, one of our favorite subjects, is this, we can make it in america. we use our taxpayer money to make and to spend that money on american-made products. so the steel in the bridges, the concrete, the other design elements are american jobs and as we do that we rebuild the american manufacturing base. you've talked about this extensively. you go back in history, but go for it. . mr. tonko: the manufacturing element in our society is strong. it still is, you know, very much a bit of statistical evidence
8:31pm
that we rank high in the international economy with manufacturing jobs. but there was a huge loss in the decades before this administration. 4.6 million jobs lost in that manufacturing element. well, in order for us to stop that bleeding, it's important, i believe, to promote advanced manufacturing, retrofitting our manufacturing sectors to be cutting edge and doing it smarter, not necessarily cheaper, allowing us to maintain that worldly status in manufacturing. and it also, as we talk about infrastructure, you know beyond the bonds effort and the american jobs act, an infrastructure bank bill, that would allow us to leverage public and private funds and expand the opportunities to invest in our infrastructure, which takes us beyond the roads and bridges and levees that we talked about and waterfront
8:32pm
opportunities and dam repair, but also brings us into the infrastructure for telecommunications and for electric utilities, so that we then are cutting-edge. we can provide for an upgrade, if you will, in the grid system. we saw the collapse in 2003 when branches were rubbing on power lines in ohio and put out the electricity in new york city. if there is a gaping situation that would have those looking at us for a weakness, it was there, that this grid system was so weak, designed for a monopoly setting and now being utilize to not only to reach into regions within states but nation to nation, canada. so we need to vastly improve that sense of weakness in our
8:33pm
system and allow us to speak to the needs of manufacturing, because many are energy-intensive operations and need to be energy efficient so utilizing energy and build into the equation and also innovation, so doing things in a smarter fashion, and able to compete at the international level for jobs, because as we land those contracts with improved operations, that means more american jobs. and that approach, that cutting-edge thinking that enables us to maintain that sense of productivity and our intellectual capacity as a nation and takes the research that we should invest into and allows us to translate that research into jobs. so there are these dynamics of change and reform that can be brought into the discussions
8:34pm
here as we go forward, and that will speak, i think, to the vitality, the economic vitality of this nation and the growth of jobs that i think are significant, that are long-lasting and bring us into a sophisticated thinking, which this american society is very capable of doing. mr. garamendi: last year, you and i talked in the last congress, which was last year, you and i talked about this make it in america, this manufacturing, we spent a lot of time talking about it. i had introduced legislation that would require that our tax money, at least 85% of it be spent on american-made products and equipment. let's take the superstorm sandy situation. we know that, for example, amtrak is receiving i think a little over 150 million to repair its tracks that were damaged by superstorm sandy. those are jobs, men and women
8:35pm
will be working. but it's also steel, electrical wires, it's consultants and it will undoubtedly be various kinds of electrical systems that will be used by amtrak in rebuilding. similarly with regard to the subways in new york. now if we were able to write into the superstorm sandy legislation that 85% of that money that is being used came from american-made products, in other words, buy america, then that would not only put people back to work but stimulate the steel industry, the electrical industry and certainly the consultants, engineers and architects,. i'm going to re-introduce that legislation, too late for superstorm sandy. but for other legislation. we will have to rewrite a new transportation bill in this session. it there is a two-year bill that is in place and will expire at
8:36pm
the end of the 113th congress. we should write into that transportation legislation where we will spend $60 billion a year to build transportation systems, a clause, like my bill that says, x taxpayer money, let's use that taxpayer money to buy american-made equipment and supplies, putting americans back to work and using that to rebuild the american manufacturing sector, along the lines you described, not with yesterday's technology but with advanced manufacturing. mr. tonko: the efforts that we have with so much of manufacturing with the incubator programs that en-- enable us to provide innovation in any of these assembly operations is key. i think it's key to our future. and i think of those situations in my district or even in my former district, where they
8:37pm
worked with a local college that was very technically sophisticated, in this case r.p.i. in the greater capital region of new york worked with incubator program to develop these new opportunities within the plastics manufacturing that harry county utilized. it's worth mentioning on this floor, that that really brought about a new phase of activity for this company, by innovation, by re-adjusting its procedure, its process, they were able to compete more effectively that required, however, that they move their training, their work force, because it required a new skillset and as they did that, they reached out to hudson valley community college in the capital region of new york. that partnership created the human infrastructure.
8:38pm
the incubator provided the innovation and they lived happily thereafter, because what they did is contract in the international competitive sweep stakes because they provided for innovation. the improvements that they made to their assembly operation enabled them to maintain that sense of competitiveness. it's that sort of thinking that takes us to a new level of job creation and job retention, compounding that or creating in the complement the buy american concept, then inspires reaching to those local firms. it can all be done in that format with the big picture sort of view that enables us to go forward and build sound policies, sound investment, with
8:39pm
guarantees of much better outcomes for america's working families. the middle class has taken it on the chin. the working families have paid the price and time for us to be high geared in terms of making certain that the american worker comes first in our thinking. mr. garamendi: you couldn't be more correct. you used the word whole and total package. for years i have said, to have a growing economy and a just social environment, we needed to make as americans, critical investments. you hit three of those critical investments. you talked about research. absolutely critical investment in the future growth of the economy, and to solve today and tomorrow's problems. that's research, most of which, interestingly, is funded directly by the federal government, by the national institutes of health, darpa or
8:40pm
one of the other federal agencies or indirectly through the research tax credit that we provide for businesses to engage in research. so research being one of the investments that lead to economic growth. you mentioned the second one, very interesting, and that's education. well-educated work force will be competitive across the world. that is the most critical investment. again, a role for the federal government, certainly a role for states and local governments, but a role for the american society that cannot be ignored. research education. and you drew it very, very correctly, and that is the manufacturing that comes from that. manufacturing matters, and how do you do? you need to be in front of it. and when you talk about the research and manufacturing technology, spot on. that is the third critical investment. the fourth one we talked about here, and that is infrastructure. these are four of the critical
8:41pm
investments that we need to make as a society. some of that falls on individual companies encouraged by a research tax credit or encouraged by buy america in different ways, we encourage the tax policy. we did that. it was a democratic proposal. we did it three years ago and continued it and continued it in the recent fiscal cliff legislation where we provided 100% write-off for capital investment. that was from the democrats. you know, we care about business. so we said grow your business. we will provide you with 100% write-off in the first year of capital equipment you put in place, not deappreciation over seven, 14 years. but immediate. enormous for businesses. we want businesses to invest so they can make it in america. flr two more critical elements
8:42pm
and i will go through them quickly, provide for the national defense wisely. i think the public knows by now we are spending $100 billion in afghanistan this year. $100 billion. we need to bring it back home. we need to end that war. thankfully, the president has set us off on a course where we will end american offensive action and move to supporting the afghan government in the spring of this year. mr. president, we are thankful you put that policy. let's bring the rest of it home. $100 billion. we need that money here. we need national defense, but we need to be wise how we spend that money. the fifth thing is this, we need to change. we need to be willing to change. thank you for bringing up the first three of those. but this is how we invest in the future, and these are policies
8:43pm
that we need to put forward. they are the critical foundation for economic and social growth. mr. tonko: you speak to the innovation and you speak to research and that speaks to the d.n.a. our our nation which has been our pioneer spirit and is paid tribute on this floor when policies such as you just described is promoted. it is embracing that pioneer spirit knowing there are better ways, better avenues to travel, let's pursue that with the utmost bit of pioneer spirit. i represent a district that was the donor area for the erie canal. that provided for the westward movement and industrial revolution. it was america at her best, believing in herself, listening to the ideas of workers and moving forward, embracing that
8:44pm
sort of pioneer spirit, building the research opportunities. i'm thinking of our electric grid system. think of what we can save in terms of energy supplies and in dollars if we move forward with the suremcon deducttive cable research project. mr. garamendi: this had to be six or seven years ago, 3m came in to talk about that issue. and they had researched and developed a new conductor that was 30% more efficient in passing those electrons down the line. think about what we could do in america to improve our energy capability by putting that in place and if that was made in america, we could not only improve the energy efficiency, we would increase the capacity of our electrical system by 30%
8:45pm
simply by rewiring those conductors across this nation. that's what american manufacturing -- research, manufacturing, put it in the infrastructure, build our strong economy. great example. mr. tonko: you know, there are so many of us who are fans of education, higher education, investment and think of it, we cultivate all of this talent and draw forth the abilities of people through education and allow them to discover who they are. one of the gifts that i bear that can be utilized to strengthen society. well, we make that investment and then don't gain on it. we don't stretch those opportunities to the max. and it's so important, i believe, to continually think beyond the status quo. and when we're dealing with the energy arena, you know it's a
8:46pm
line loss for one, that allows for huge savings and great opportunities for jobs to research that potential, but it's also issues like waste heat, which can be recaptured and make more efficient our energy system. so as we create and generate these energy supplies, if there's waste there and we can coptive ate or kaptur that waste and -- kaptur that waste, here yet is another opportunities. so it's endless. and for us to continue to do the same old kind of responses to everyday issues isn't the sort of challenging outcome that i think allows us to best function as an american society. so, you know, there are policies and there are tax reforms that encourage and inspire this sort
8:47pm
of investment, research tax credits, opportunities within the renewable energy area, with production tax credits, all of this being promoted in advance, we need to expand upon those opportunities. because you are right, representative garamendi, it's an investment and requires dollars but those investments provide for lucrative dividends and many more dollars earned than those invested into the progress that we need to strike. . mr. garamendi: i think the tirme that we wrap this all into one piece. i'll take the first shot at it and then if you'd finish it up. i'm thinking of chicago. not my territory. it's a long way from california. beautiful city. very dynamic city. at the turn of the previous century, in the late 1800's,
8:48pm
they had an architect, city architect, and he wrote think no small thought for it stirs not the heart of man. very interesting. we ought to add women to that equation now. but what he said is, when we rebuild this city, we need to build big. we need to think bold thoughts. we need to think about the greatness that could exist if we step forward. earlier in the previous hour we heard about the exact opposite. we heard about inward. thinking small. we are not going to reach out and fulfill the great potential of this nation. instead we're going to retreat. we're not going to allow government to be part of the greatness of our future but instead we're going to make it smaller. and less viable. and those five things that i
8:49pm
talked about, education, that's a public investment. infrastructure is both public and private. the public side is critical. you look at manufacturing. manufacturing has always been private but it has always relied upon the public sector. and if we use our tax dollars to buy american-made products, we are causing the manufacturing sector to grow, to blossom, to innovate and to be even greater than it is today. and in developing the research, that's both a public and private, but it is largely a public sector investment. so we can deal with this by investing, by thinking boldly about what it is question do. and in doing so make certain that everything we invest in publicly is necessary, that it is run efficiently and that its
8:50pm
courtum is effective. that -- outcome is effective. that it fulfills the goal for which it was designed. those should be our watch words. efficient. effective. necessary. and be bold. think no small thought. this is america. this is the world's greatest country. perhaps ever. and it was created by bold thinking, both public and private, working together, in a synergy that created this incredible nation. i'm excited. i'm excited here in the very early days of the 213th congress. i know we're going to have some big battles over debt limits and the like. but as we go through those fights, i want us to be bold. i want us to be big in our thinking. i want us to fulfill the great potential of this nation. and i know we can do it. i know we can do it. mr. tonko: well, representative garamendi, what i hear you
8:51pm
saying is probably the definition of the american dream. and the american dream was designed and brought to us by the boldness of generation upon generation of immigrants who added to the peoplescape of this great nation. added to the native american population by stages of journeys that traveled to these shores. that we as a exillation of those journeys -- compilation of those journeys are a stronger people. the foundation upon which we stand and function and dream was developed by people who dared to dream nobly. dared to invest in their communities. in their people. and that i think is the challenge to us at this very moment in time. will history see us as a people that dreamt beyond the ordinary? or will we be those who were frightened by the thoughts of
8:52pm
the challenges of our time? i think that our greatest days lie ahead of us. the american dream that burns boldly and nobly in our hearts speaks to us as that beacon of inspiration. move forward, invest in america's people, invest in ingenuity, innovation and intellectual capacity of this nation and walk, tread, tread boldly into the future. and know that you will leave that next generation with even stronger foundation that was granted us for our time in this nation. so, it's been an honor to join you this evening. mr. garamendi: it's always a pleasure to work with you, mr. tonko. with that, mr. speaker, we yield back our time and if you'd like a motion we can make it. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time.
8:53pm
the gentleman will withhold for one moment. the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. under the speaker's announced policy of january 3, 2013, the chair recognizes the gentleman from texas, mr. gohmert, for 30 minutes. mr. gohmert: thank you, mr. speaker. it is a pleasure to be getting to know you better all the time, mr. speaker. and to be serving with you. and join here my friends talking about the economy and things that are going on. and so i wanted to address a few things, didn't come over here to plan to address what
8:54pm
they had, but they were mentioning their hope for us bringing our troops home from afghanistan and having been there a few times, having talked to the former allies that this administration has thrown under the bus, that initially defeated the taliban for us with imbedded less than 500, possibly less than 300 imbedded special forces, special ops, and intelligence personnel, imbedded with the northern alliance, they defeated the taliban. in about three or four months. and then we added troops, we became occupiers and occupiers in that part of the world don't do well. someone reminded me what i already knew, that alexander the great defeated -- he conquered that area around afghanistan and i had to remind them that he died on his way
8:55pm
out of the area. i don't consider that a great victory. but nonetheless we helped give the afghans a government, shah ryea -- shari'a law, making it difficult for jews and christians to reside in a country where they once had. under this administration's watch, like i said, we throw our allies under the bus and the taliban has come back almost as strong as ever. not quite. some of my northern alliance friends told me in one of our visits over there that on national television last year taliban leader that this administration released for humanitarian purposes from gitmo didn't seem to be having health problems and was on national television and was
8:56pm
making clear that the u.s. would be withdrawing in the next year or two and that when they did, the taliban would be back in charge as they were before. and so it was time to come beg forgiveness from the taliban and ask for their protection under shari'a law. and that doesn't sound like we're going to be in a whole lot better position after all the losses of life. all of the service members who have laid down their lives in afghanistan, continue to do that as we speak, because the commander in chief has them there without any real mission, laying down their lives. and as one of our troops told me, i don't mindly aing down my life -- mind laying down my life for my country, but please don't waste it. they're not only laying down their lives for a wishy-washy government that can't figure
8:57pm
out what it wants to do, that leave leaves our military without a clear mission, that allows the taliban to come back stronger than ever, supplied and funded in part from pakistan. they deserve better. they deserve much better. our commander in chief has been on television yesterday talking about the debt limit, debt ceiling. he's talked about our economy. i think it's worth noting that since 1923, when the president was required to furnish a budget in a time deadline given for furnishing that budget, 90 years, 90 years the president
8:58pm
is required by law to furnish a budget. since 1923 those, those ensuing 90 years, there were apparently 11 times when presidents have been unable to get the budget to congress as required by law. and most of those -- well, some of those 11, there were very good reasons. but it's interesting to note in the last 90 years, out of the 11 times that the budget from the president has been late, four of those 11 have been under the obama administration. we're also informed that there is a chance once again, like there was a year and a half
8:59pm
ago, that our credit rating of the u.s. could be lowered again. by another credit rating agency. some have tried to paint it as a different story, different picture, but for those of us who recall what happened, s&p made it clear that they didn't believe that the united states was serious about dealing with this dramatic spending problem, overspending problem. where we were spending $1.5 billion, $1.6 trillion, over $1 trillion more than the $2-plus trillion that we had coming in. and that if we didn't at least reduce the massive overspending annually by at least $400,000 -- $400 billion, rather, for 10 years, a total of $4 trillion over a 10-year period, then it
9:00pm
would make it pretty clear that we were not serious about dealing with our debt. i know the obama administration went on the warpath after s&p, after the credit rating was lowered. personally i think it's the s&p's credit they did bha they said. we came in -- they did what they said. they came in with a debt ceiling bill. the debt ceiling bill that was agreed to with the administration had some sequestration in it with the supercommittee that some of us knew wasn't going to work, because the democrats made clear they didn't want a supercommittee to work because they wanted to be able to campaign and say, gee, cuts are coming to medicare because the republicans, you know, were trying to protect the rich friends and it worked very
9:01pm
well. they didn't reach -- wouldn't reach an agreement. even after somebody like a republican senator had a proposal to raise new revenue, a couple of democrats were reported as saying this was going to be the breakthrough that allowed an agreement, after consulting with the president, harry reid apparently made clear he didn't want a deal. no deal. so there was no deal. and now the sequestrations are about to take place. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman has 22 minutes remaining. mr. gohmert: so we had a debt
9:02pm
ceiling bill that was undermined from the beginning, no deal was reached, sequestration, massive cuts to our national security, our national defense. would be inflicted. and massive cuts to medicare. our leaders responded to me that , gee, the democrats will never allow the cuts to medicare, the sequestration to medicare, $300 billion or so, they'll never allow that. that's why we know the supercommittee will reach an agreement. i advised them that that would not happen. there would be no agreement. of course they're willing to have $300 billion or so cut to medicare because obamacare cut $00 billion from medicare, from our seniors' care, without a single republican vote. so the only way the democrats
9:03pm
could run a commercial last year, 2012 with any sincerity at all saying, gee, republicans are cutting medicare, would be if they prevent republicans from reaching agreement with the president, democrats, and then they'll run in in commercials in 2012 and blame republicans and say, see, they didn't reach an agreement. they wanted to cut seniors and help their rich friends. as some of us made clear, we weren't nearly as concerned at all about protecting anybody as we were future generations. how embarrassing that our generation is the first generation in american history that is said by -- that has said by our actions, we are not concerned with leaving our
9:04pm
children and our grandchildren, future generations, a better country than we found. we're more concerned with lavishing money on the here and now that we can't pay for, that future generations will pay for, because we can't stop spending on ourselves. we had a vote today on relief for hurricane sandy. and we know something about the pain that comes from hurricanes. in my district in east texas, not only did we face consequences from hurricane katrina and the hundreds of thousands of people that came through in -- and many stayed in east texas and the onslaught of weather that hit east texas but it was immediately followed by hurricane rita that swept straight up through east texas, through my district. we know about suffering.
9:05pm
and we saw how louisiana was helped so much more than east texas even though at the very time we were hit with hurricane rita, we were taking care of victims from hurricane katrina. we understand about that but there's a lot of misinformation about hurricane katrina. we did offset spending when we were -- when republicans were in the majority for hurricane ka tina. we actually then turned money back that was not spent. our heart goes out to the victims of hurricane sandy, especially those who understand what that kind of suffering is. i was all over my district, the democratic sheriff told his county once that they'll never forget midnight after hurricane rita hit, no power, there in the
9:06pm
county, no power there at the sheriff's office. and there was a generator kicked on, the lights were flickering and after midnight, his u.s. congressman came walking but through his door and said, what can i do to help. -- do to help? had to cut down trees to get there to st. augustine and over to hemphill. it's tough dealing with the consequences of a hurricane. people are hurt. buildings, homes destroy wesmed understand that. we wanted to help the victims of hurricane sandy. but what we didn't want to do, and what we hoped there would be plenty of responsibility in dealing with, was pork that was placed in this bill for emergency pumps -- purposes.
9:07pm
it just seems a bit immoral that you would take advantage of the suffering of people during a hurricane to get one last big plug of money. i mean, it's also pretty discouraging to see that there's money being captured, taking advantage of the victims of a hurricane, to enrich and engorge themselves. there ought to be a law against it. but there isn't. because this chamber, led by the senate down the hall, is still putting pork in these bills. to go to things that have nothing to do with the hurricane. and they're not offset. we have no problem on both sides
9:08pm
of the aisle helping victims who can't help themselves. but we ought to pay for it now. former member of congress, one of the greatest heroes texas history has, named davy crockett, when he was a congressman a u.s. congressman from tennessee, stood before the house of representatives, right down the hall here, in the old house chamber, and explained what he was lectured to by a constituent. don't take my money, take your own money to help charitable causes. and not donnell we not do that, we take other people's money to help and they get all this pork added in order to get enough votes to pass it, and then it ought to be the biggest regret of this generation, we don't
9:09pm
even pay for it. how in the world could this body fail to pass a bill that would pay for helping the victims of hurricane sandy? but we don't have the money to do it. so we're going to borrow over 40 cents, 40 cents to 50 cents of every dollar of money both for the pork and for the help for hurricane sandy because this body got sweet talked in to refusing to pay for helping this generation. we'll let our children and our children's children and maybe their children pay for this. we will load them up with debt because we will not pay our own way. we're too narcissistic, we're too self-indulgent, we are not going to pay our way and that
9:10pm
kind of attitude is a tragedy. it brings countries down. what brings countries to the peak of their greatness is when generation of generation does not fail to honor the god that has blessed that country and they have a commitment that we were taught in boy scouts that you leave a place better than you found it and you leave better for those coming behind you. and it's embarrassing that this white house and this senate and this house are comfortable enough to leave a country massively more in debt than when
9:11pm
this generation came to leadership. it's heartbreaking. one of the reasons we are not effectively dealing with this problem is because not enough people know the truth. they don't know the history of this country. apparently the president thinks it's perfectly ok to just forget about the rule of law. oh, there's a law that says i got to provide a budget? i'm not doing it. i'll get around to it. but the law says he must. is he above the law? apparently so. because of the 11 times in the last 90 years when the budget was late, four of them were this president. when you talk to economists and
9:12pm
you read what economists are saying, and you're concerned about the downgrade in the credit rating because of how much more money that will put us in debt, that future yen rations will have to pay, when you talk to them you look at what they're saying. there's a couple of things they point out, one of the things that helped this country is our belief and support for the rule of law. that no one is above the law. and yet you look at what this white house is doing. we'll get around to the budget eventually. more insensitive to following the law than any presidency that i can find in history. we have a president who says, you know, i get it. the defense of marriage act was passed into law, signed into law by a former democratic
9:13pm
president. but i don't like that law. and i realize congress is not going to change it. so i'm going to ignore the law. i'm going to instruct my attorney general to ignore the law. that kind of thinking means there is no support at the highest level of this country for the rule of law. when we have a president who makes speeches, an attorney general who makes speeches about how they're going to go after illegal gun sales and yet there is blood on the hands of people in this administration and we can't even find out who they are because they're being obscured, for the death of hundreds of human beings who died because this administration forced gun dealers to sell guns that they knew, and they reported, should
9:14pm
not be sold. and they were told by their federal government, their executive branch you do it anyway because we're going to follow the guns new york effect, the guns were not followed. they made their way criminals' hands, as was intended. but they weren't followed. and now the administration says they want to support the rule of law and go after these illegal gun sales? they have to start with their own administration. and then we have a president that instead of coming to capitol hill, where most of the elected representatives of the country are, there's one down pennsylvania avenue, actually, two, vice president, and there's 535 down here. and sitting down and working out a comprehensive immigration bill, instead of doing that, the
9:15pm
president announces, you know, i don't like the laws that were duly passed by prior congresses, democrats, signed into law, by democrats and republican presidents, i realize what the law is. i don't like the law so as i speak, so shall the new law be. and the mainstream media just laps it up because they're too ignorant of what the rule of law means that you don't have a monarch at the end of pennsylvania avenue that just espouses law as he gets ready to because he doesn't like the law that was duly passed. come down here and work with us and if we can secure the border, so that we can make sure people won't get in who want to destroy our way of life, the drug cartels, the radical islamists across the border, that are working with the drug cartels now that ewant to destroy -- we've got to make sure we have
9:16pm
people coming in that will continue to make the country great. . i have great hope what the hispanic community can do for this country, because generally speaking, those i know, strong faith in god, devotion to family, hard work ethic, that's what made america great in my opinion. we need that kind of input, but it's got to be legal. the immigration services is an embarrassment, one of the worst in the world. you can get a visa quicker in other countries than you can here. it is embarrassing. if we are going to get on track, we have to get back to a president and a congress that believes the rule of law and when the president will not follow the law, there has to be
9:17pm
consequences. i have talked to democratic and republicans that were part in different administrations. tell me, when you were in the administration, when you were in the white house, is it true that i heard that individuals would come together, both parties, both ends of the capital and talk to the president and say look, you are usurping control that was given to congress in the constitution and we'll have to shut you down and don't act within the constitution? that doesn't happen within in this administration and it's time it must. we owe it to the country and future generations. the president has said, ", if congress is going to tie the debt ceiling votes, which we have never done in our history, i will not play that game.
9:18pm
the president needs to have somebody around him that knows the truth. that poor man is being lied to. all you have to do is look back in our history. every cut -- every time there was a cut in spending, it was often tied to the debt ceiling negotiations. go back to 1985, to 1990, 1993, 1997, 2010. speaker pelosi, in 2010, with president obama, tied a pay-go provision. she did it. why is it so wrong that the republicans want to do that in the house, like speaker pelosi did? let's get responsible. but the president doesn't even remember two years ago when speaker pelosi did that. somebody has got to help this poor man understand recent and
9:19pm
distant history before the rating agencies say, you know what? we used to think the rule of law was going to help the u.s. economy and help the federal government get around to taking care of its debts, but these guys don't even follow the rule of law anymore. and as far as what the economists say, yeah, but we have democratic dynamism. look what obama is doing to that. look at what overregulation is doing to that. the economy is hurting. the economy is waiting to take off if the president and the senate that is bogging down bills that would free up the economy to go -- if they would get out of the way, this economy would go and people would get to work, wouldn't need unemployment and wouldn't need to beg to the
9:20pm
master government, but do it on their own as free people. it's time to get back to following the rule of law. it's time to get back to having a government that doesn't put off the current debt on future generations, because if we don't , our names will not be called blessed by future jean rations. den jations. we will be cursed. it is my prayer that we get to be responsible in the coming months and the only way we can get there is if people are honest about our history. and with that, i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the chair will remind members to refrain from engaging in personalities towards the president for what purpose does
9:21pm
the gentleman from texas seek recognition? mr. gohmert: i move that we do now adjourn. the speaker pro tempore: the question is on the motion to adjourn. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. the ayes have it. the motion is adopted. accordingly, the house stands adjourned until 3:00 p.m.
9:22pm
>> efforts to combat gun violence. also joining us is andy cole who wrote an article entitled "the to remake politics." "washington journal" is live every day at 7:00 eastern. coming up tonight on c-span. a look at the environment, disasters and the gulf coast. then a summit on gun violence from john hopkins university. later, a debate on the hurricane sandy relief bill. after the sandy hook elementary school shootings president obama created a task force headed by vice president biden to make new recommendations to curve gun violence. the president will unveil the
9:23pm
proposals wednesday, live coverage starts at 11:45 eastern. next, a discussion on issues impacting the gulf coast including natural disasters and a look back at hurricane sandy. we'll hear from the director of the geeological survey. this is an hour. >> our next guest brings home many issues of cascading disasters and municipal events impacting -- multiple events impacting the gulf coast. we are aware of wide range of issues, ranging from hurricanes and the impacts they have on -- the storm impacts, the deepwater
9:24pm
horizons bill. today's speakers on this panel are marcia who is the director of the gioological survey. jerome zeringue who is the executive director of the coast of protection and restoration authority of louisiana and part of the management team of the gulf of mexico alliance. that is a grouping of leaders from all of the gulf coast states. nancy rabalais who is the executive director of the louisiana university's marine department. i should also say she was recently awarded one of the
9:25pm
mccar thursday genius prices. congratulations. our fourth speaker is bernie gold stein. i've known him for a long time. he is a public health expert. he's based at the university of pittsburgh, if i remember correctly but more significantly for this panel is chair of the coordinating committee of the gulf regional house outreach program which came from the deepwater horizon settlement. our moderator for this panel is retired admiral thad allen. those of you that were the least bit awake during the deepwater horizon event would have seen thad on the tv so much he is now an honorary member of the media. we consider him based on his
9:26pm
extensive media presence to be an ideal person, not only because he knows so much about the subject matter but he absolutely phenomenal in front of a camera. if annie can come to the onsite registration we have something for you. thank you. thad, over to you. >> good morning. it's a pleasure to be here. it's a double pleasure to be here in the presence of this panel and to be with these colleagues that are so knowledgeable about the topic that we're going to cover this morning. they have already been introduced to you i'm knot going to do it again. their bios are in your program and i recommend you take a look at that.
9:27pm
i'm honored to be on the podium with them. this morning we're going to talk a little bit about the gulf of mexico. i'm going make a couple of remark then i'm going pass it to the panel. i would like you to think about what converges in the gulf of mexico. i think part of the uniqueness of that body of water and every body of water can claim some type of uniqueness is the extraordinary natural environment that exists there. if you look at the great waters, the mississippi river, the straits of florida you look at the diversity in the gulf of mexico. then look at the challenges between, what i call the
9:28pm
interaction between the man-made world and the natural world. this is a very important part of the world but also a very complex part of the world. what you get as we have an increasing population and expension of the infrastructure you have increasing interaction with the natural environment, greater degrees of complexity. when you introduce challenges like climate change and uncertainty, the level of the types of events that can occur there in terms of the magnitude and consequences grows. we know the frequency is increasing. we're going to talk about this unique area of the world from a couple of different perspectives. i would like you to think about a couple of things as we do this. this concept of restill yantcy. -- resiliantcy.
9:29pm
having done many, many months in the gulf of several different disasters and crisis that were down there i came to think of resiliantcy similar to the human immune system. the pre-existing conditions are not created by the event but the extent that they are present. they are capacitier the baited. i think about what we can do to -- i'm talking about vulnerable populations, how we create supply chains and how the infrastructure can help or hurt us. everything in total allows us to understand an event occurs and the environment reacts to it.
9:30pm
move on after the event after it has finished and learn how to mitigate if it occurs again. with that in mind, we're going to take a couple different views of the gulf as we move forward. then that have we will be interested in carrying out a dialogue with you. let's start out with nancy rabalais. again, her biois in the program. i will tell you that i learned today she has been awarded a mcarthur prize and i would like you to congratulate her. [applause] >> thank you and no, i'm not buying you lunch. thad said a lot of things i was going to say in my opening comments. of course the gulf of mexico is extremely productive and dynamic. a lot of that is driven by the
9:31pm
mississippi river which is 41% of the lower 48 states. so it has a major influence of the water quality. resulting high productivity fisheries and other economic resources such as oil and gas, geology time, high carbon. the area is also subject to what we inside call multiple stressors and sometimes they are multiple influences and again, that is a result of human and natural processes ongoing. there are a couple of highlight natural problems in louisiana.
9:32pm
the high land loss rates in the area, the influence of the oil and gas industry that also depends on the living row surses, the fisheries. a lot of natural dynamics. the plain subpoena continuely changing and wants to change all the time even if people don't want it to change. local areas subject to sea level rise and of course, seems like always occurring hurricanes that impact our coastal systems so dramatically. the other issue is long-term subsidence. this is a delta and some things are going to change no matter what we try to do. there is going to be many issues facing you us as we go into
9:33pm
restoration of this area. the ideas that this should be based on the knowledge we have ocured over the years and it should benefit the well being of the natural system and the human system. and that we make wise decisions and hopefully do no harm to the system in the process. >> thank you, nancy. next we have bernard goldstein. i'm concluding a job right now for governor cuomo state response to hurricane sandy. some things that have crossed my view and some of the issues i dealt with have to do with public health, occupational heanlt safety open, and how you deal with large populations in stress and how do you bring in a response force in and make sure
9:34pm
their safety and health is maintained while you do that. we're going to look forward to your comments. >> thanks, thad. i'm going speak about a program that is related to public health and try to raise the issue, briefly of the interface of what we do in public heanlt with the whole concepts of rezip yans that we heard. there is a very unique situation. the gulf, we would add to it there are unique group of people with relatively important health needs. the states, the areas there tend to rank in the 40's among the 50 states among the health care or any health indicator of general well being. we're dealing with a population
9:35pm
that does not have great access to health care and does not have a strong health basis as it needs. the rest of us have access to and as you know, we in the united states we are not the healthiest people in the world to start with. the group is called the gulf region outreach program it's goal to expand capacity to health care services, including primary care and environmental medicine in these gulf coast communities. it is developed jointly by b.p. and the council and it is part of the settlement that you have heard about it. $7.6 billion may sound like a small amount it is a very significant piece of money. i would not be as definite as
9:36pm
i'm going to be until last week when the judge signed off on the settlement that did include this. i will put a disclaimer on, there is one month that an appeal could come through and change things but we feel comfort with going forward with what i'm describing. the beneficiaries that are target red carpet under served communities in louisiana, mississippi, alabama, and the florida panhandle. there are four components to this. the first is is a program serving the developing improved community health programs. it is run by louisiana public health institute joined with the alliance institute which is a community-based organization. there is a mental and behavioral
9:37pm
health program which has louisiana state university, southern mississippi university, the university of south alabama and the university of west florida. there is a literacy program which includes a washington-based group. that's got the littercy aimed at the literacy of the community and the community workers and those involved in with community activism and community projects. finally, there is a community health worker training program that is based at the university of south alabama. the overall goal here is one where resilience comes up in the language all the time but the
9:38pm
resilience is very much in keeping with what we would do in public health. yesterday there was a meeting held at e.p.a. by e.p.a. concerning a resilience. you will hear a presentation later in this conference as to the outcome of it. i was taken by a couple of comments. one comment was system evolves in diminished resilience. think about that as terms of individuals. we're evolving to the point of aging and that is what we've done. you mention the immune system, i hope you all have flu shots. right? but those of us in my age range need the flu shot more than younger, healthier people do because we're more at risk.
9:39pm
the whole risk issue for individuals, the vulnerability issue is what we deal with in public health in trying to improve the ability to respond to problems. we think of it in terms of primary, second, teshry prevention. er the,ry is the third when you go to the doctor and you already have the sickness. this will be a five-year effort. we have -- it is not a research program but does have a strong evaluation component to it. we hope that out of this approach we will learn more about resilience of communities in relation to being able to deal with health threats and dealing with the social capital that plays a major role in
9:40pm
community response but how can that be built up in working with the public infrastructure and working with communities to improve public resilience. >> thank you. i think we would all agree that it has been tough the last 10 to 15 years fir the state of louisiana. whether they are related to the demographics, the characteristics of the community, the geographic location. also the entrance to one of the great waterways to the world and the traffic we depend upon for for the vyability of the country. i want to thank him for the work that he has done when i was down there. go ahead. >> thank you.
9:41pm
it is better to see you under better serks. if you think resiliencecy is a challenge try having access to the food we have and staying healthy. it is difficult. in terms of how we address the resilientcy and the issues we deal with in the coast and trying to tie that to the tax base and relate that both from a local regional perspective but also a national perspective. when you look at it, 30% of this nation's g.d.p. comes from the gulf coast. you look at the population increase we've had. since 1970 there has been 1009% increase in the gulf coast region. the people are there, the vulnerabilities are there but also it is significant to what
9:42pm
it provides to the nation. from the states perspective and also from the gulf we recognize that healthy ecosystems also can mean healthy economies. from louisiana, what we have taken -- what we believe is a very good first effort the addressing the vulgarrables that exist in reducing that risk is with the state's matter of fact plan which is a long-term plan to reduce the economic significants and reduce the risk across the coast. we believe we can achieve protection for all coastal communities. it is that resource that is important. the states provide and the gulf provides to the nation, it if it is going to be afforded through the nation. we believe with this plan we can have sustainable healthy ecosystems but also healthy communities. there's an essence of -- there
9:43pm
is a form of social engineering because if you can't ensure the communities, the supermarket, the schools, the things that the communities depend on, the communities will not survive. we want to make sure we will develop a healthy system but also healthy communities that can provide those resources. we have come a long way, it is not perfect but we have a plan to achieve these sustainability and protecting the communities long term that are critical to the region and to the nation. i think is something we're working with the other gulf states in light of what happened with the oil spill. unfortunately, that event will provide some resource, it won't be enough but putting those resources that he mentioned, making sure we're putting those to good use and thinking long-term to address those problems and to reduce the risk
9:44pm
to protect the ecosystems and the commies. >> -- academies. >> >> i think what we fail to understand is sometimes these issues whether they are long-term are difficult, complex problems are usually beyond the bounds of one particular agency to solve on their own. in addressing these problems or black swans whatever you want to call them is the future of leadership that is required in government today. marcia mcnutt has worked with me for many, many occasions, most notably during the oil spill. you're looking at one of the fine lead thears worked with the government to make decisions matter and make the difficult
9:45pm
decisions. i'm proud to work with her during the oil spill and i'm proud to introduce her now. marcia? >> thank you. the gulf coast is under threats and in particular, i want to speak of those that impact life and property. it is a deadly combination of loss of natural protection, rising seas from global warming, increasing intensity and number of storms, and more people and critical infrastructure that lies in the coastal zone in the path of those storms. there's no doubt but the coastal zone is a desirable but it is a dangerous place to live and it is getting more dangerous all the time. so what is the solution? well, the good news is that research can help. let me provide you with an
9:46pm
analogy. we know that fault zones are dangerous places to live but thanks to science we have increased more than two orders of nag any attitude the safety of living in earthquake country. that fact was demonstrated by the different experiences in death and destruction in haiti where earthquake resilientcy is nonexistent and chile that took its playbook from california. that's why i'm optimistic that science and engineering cals make the coastle zone a safer place to live. there are important differences between the problem of earthquake hazards and coastal hazards. if we put aside those umph bumper stick thears say stop
9:47pm
plate tectonics. huges have an effect on the rate -- humans have the an effect on the rate and the intensity of earthquakes. on the other hand, we have increased coastal hazards by increasing the rate of wetland loss anbar yur island erosion and sea level rise. what this means in addressing coastal hazards we need to confront both mother nature and the enhanced risk from impacts. i would argue the philosophy we have to approach this with is exactly the same. scientists can make recommendations on issues such as what is the recur rans rate of the threat. what are the effects that the threat pose to our lives and our property. what actions do we need to take to mitigate those threats?
9:48pm
engineers can take the input from the scientists and design appropriate structures and carry out the mitigation projects. in the earthquake case, it was put of the hands of local communities to vol tearly take those recommendations from the scientists and engineers and into building standards and with those actions ultimately saves lives and property. i expect a similar approach would be appropriate in the coastal zone. the settlement from the oil spill gives an opportunity for the region a new lease on life. top fund science in other words too the right things and engineering in other words to do the things right. we should not squander this opportunity on projects that won't make a lasting difference. thank you.
9:49pm
>> thank you, marcia. one comment that crosses through all of the discussions that have occurred thus far, it is this notion of communicating the conditions that exist -- exist today. the importance of resilience where we can change behaviors. trying to protect school children until california there is a drill that brings in the community but it started with school children. we need to learn how to have learge conversation about how to understand these issues, how to communicate them to the public. there is always risk to communication but there has to be risk and an understanding of the behaviors that are needed to mitigate these events before they occur. going forward, i think that is the next important conversation we need to have.
9:50pm
i saw something collecting question cards and he is running up here right now. in the long-term can there be resiliantcy in the gulf systems that was pointed without with massive population growth? you want to start with that one? >> i would love to. there is never going to be a silver bullet fix it and forget it to this problem. we believe, again, addressing those things that we can achieve , using the river, using the things that built the delta. mitigating the risk, building stronger, building smarter we can mitigate. if we use the tools we have we do believe, even with the
9:51pm
spreesed population that we do have and the desire for people to live along the coast because of the fact that the access and resources it provides we have the capability. we demonstrated it with the master plan. the way we are going to achieve it we have to take from a federal perspective more proactive approach. if you look at it, for every dollar invested in terms of mitigating translates to $11 up to $30 per dollar in investment. if there are things that we can do proactively that will reduce that risk and creates sustainability for communities and for the ecology as well for those resources. in the master plan we laid it out and it is a plan that will be modified and tweak but the answer is yes, we can do things that will allow us to survive an
9:52pm
live along the coast. >> nancy, make you can address the fa second of this. what can you do going forward. like in the lower pat of the mississippi where you have 40 miles of a strip of land that is half a mile wide. is there a threshold that the islands are going to migrate and how do we have a discussion of is this the right place for people to live? >> certainly. as more and more people come to the coast more and more people want to live on the coast. i think we have to take a very strong attitude about where people can live and where theyen can't live. -- and can't live. there were floods on the mississippi river and they moved people out of the flood open
9:53pm
plain and now they are building in the floodplain and that doesn't make sense. the state of texas is proactive in what was land has become open water after several hurricanes. we need to protect the people that are there. we need to provide alternatives for them. if it looks like their homes are going to be under water, the lab where i work is outside of any levee system. and the water level gets higher and higher with every hurricane we've had. and we all know we're going to have more. we need to think into the future and not 30 years because we have to take care of the place where people want to live and provide the safety for them at the same time. >> any other comments or i'll go to the next question.
9:54pm
would you comment on the progress in implementing the b.p. plan. are there institutions in place that does not make priority projects and monitor their progress. >> there are certainly are institutions in place and there are plans in place. there have been entities designated in leadership roles and there have been plenty of good ideas put forward. i think maybe jerry can commonts more on what the progress has been on those but some of the principles i've seen put forward, i think are excellent. for example, just to comment on one of them, i'm very much in
9:55pm
line with is that to the extent that we can restore natural processes. for example, during the gulf spill, the governor of louisiana, i think, you know, his heart was in the right place when he wanted to construct some barrier islands in other words to stop oil from coming ashore. but the problem with it was, unless you restore natural processes to nourish those islands it was going to be a very expensive undertaking that was going to be very short-lived. there was the chance that the construction of the islands would do more harm in the short temperature than the long term effect of the islands. in the projects that are being proposed theys have a sound
9:56pm
science under lying them which has at its foundation that natural processes have to be at the -- under pinning these such that they will have long duration that the restoration will continue and you don't just build something to see it all go away again. >> i think there was some science in the respect that what they were trying to achieve with what the natural system would have achieved. the barrier island would would have stopped the oil from getting into the sensitive ecosystem. we're trying to achieve the connection to the river. during the oil spill, we opened some of the limited diversion, just small diversions which had a ben official impact but significance in terms of our
9:57pm
ability to rebuild or connect to the delta is insignificant. so we're prosing long-term sustainable diversions that can rebuild and sustain the coast of louisiana. part of the issue too is also trying to address the disconnect that we currently have between the largest unfunded mandate the nation faces outside of social security is the flood insurance program. we're going to have to address long-term how we're going top continue that program and the disconnect within the agency that carries out a lot of the programs which is can core of engineers which is responsible for achieving those protection measures and the process you have to go through to build these protection measures. it is a process that has to be changed. there are issues that we can under take to increase resilientcy.
9:58pm
in addition, the natural system is critical from the gulf perspective from protection to the communities themselves but also sustaining the ecosystems. we can and there are plans to achieve that benefit. >> i think also one final comment on this. restoration, all of the projects are by necessity have to be a compromise between the existing economics of the gulf coast and the ideal restoration. because we have the oil and gas infrastructure and we have the requirement to maintain the shipping channels. so there is the -- ideal and restoration would be to allow
9:59pm
the mississippi to meander the way it did before there was an atempt to control the river. there was the muslim lower loss of wetlands before there was all the development in oil and gas. we know we will never again go back to that totally natural state. where do we find the dividing line between the appropriate line of restoration that will get us back to those natural states that provided more sentiment delivery to the coast and more natural protection for the wetlands? and yet, provide the economic for the coast in terms of the shipping channels and the protection from floods and the oil and gas industry that we know is also important to the people of the gulf.
10:00pm
>> at the risk of plugging a book here. when i was working at hurricane katrina every time i had a new person come into my staff i had them read a book called "rising tide." it is the history of how the mississippi river was changed to accommodate navigation and the impacts of the 1927 flood and it created some of the conditions that was a result of hurricane katrina. from our learnings of the goalsr low income communities but will face disasters especially with potential for hydrocracking. >> that is of a good question. from a health point of view,
10:01pm
what we have learned, is a zygote social impact. -- psycho social impact. it has to do with all sorts of things with our willingness to share the truth, which could be one of the most telling problems that came out of the gulf. if i asked for a show of hands, how many are concerned about the fact there was a secret ingredient in all this? how many of you have ever taken an over-the-counter laxatives? it turns out that confidential
10:02pm
business agreement is over the counter. i am not worried about human exposure to that particular chemical. there was no reason for the secrecy. we are getting a bunch of confidential issue, but i find what is fascinating is the stuff that is coming from underground. they say notwithstanding any of the above, we do not tell them
10:03pm
that just adds to the fears, adds to the concerns. i am not saying there are no affects in the gulf. the reviewers were concerned we are not saying enough about how many people will keep benzene. the effects are real, and i think that is what we need to whir gone. >> i have always tried to use the standard of transparency as a way to deal with the public. the problem is if you'd inadvertently did not disclose information, you are put out a credibility deficit with the public, and sometimes it is hard
10:04pm
to get out of that, and it is difficult for or organizations to think about releasing the information before it is out for. i have been involved in several situations where the information was available and understandable. it mitigated some concerns. it was difficult to make that transparent, and catching up with that is really difficult. one reason for the impact was the lack of information as a baseline for understanding there had been a change. as a context for moving beyond the research done, what do you think the larger research agenda ought to be about?
10:05pm
>> the hydrocarbons in the continental shelf and inland areas are pretty well known. it is the deep sea we did not have information for. i think the d.c. ecosystem -- tsetse ecosystem is an area we need to emphasize -- deep sea ecosystem is an area we need to emphasize, and some of the longer living organisms such as marine mammals. one of the issues is the effect of multiple stressors. we have some smart jury is that were heavily oiled, and some of them are not there anymore post hurricane isaac, so the idea of these multiple stressors that work on a
10:06pm
habitat. i am on a panel on the effects of the peace bill on ecosystem services, -- avaya bp -- of the bp oil spill on ecosystem services. i think that is one area we need to look at. >> what nancy said, i would underscore the idea of understanding natural capital and its impact on the cuban economy. -- the human economy. the effect of multiple stressors on the system so we can understand what more impact would be.
10:07pm
another thing i have seen is after the oil spill there were concerns but would come out of the fishing community, and whether recreational or commercial sometimes when they would notice there were abnormalities in species that would be found in some ketches, and they would not know whether they could positively attributed spill, cts of the oils alon because there were not a baseline condition is taken before the spill. i think for important ecosystems or any other ecosystem, we need to have baseline conditions of
10:08pm
what is the state of health of that ecosystem and what is the occurrence of abnormalities before any untoward event occurs. >> the long term data are incredibly important, and we also need to continue monitoring in the period to learn more about the ecosystem. there are a lot of contaminants in the marshes, a lot of background information. the important thing is you never have the opportunity to know
10:09pm
what is going to happen in a place you have not been monitoring. there has to be a strategic method to find those places because you cannot do it everywhere. you need a model condition ito spend time on a particular area and translate those results to another area. >> my personal opinion is there is a latency between human activity and our ability to understand we need to understand the area, and we always come in after the fact and try to determine what the parameters are for that system. i do not know how you get the match set up because it involves a crosswalk, and it is
10:10pm
one of the responsibilities of government and it extends into the international environment, which makes it more complex, but let me use that as a segue. we know and hear about economic impact repeatedly, but who speaks for the environment, and how can we keep that the boys drowned out as a difference for relationships? how do we close the cycle of latency and try to understand where we need information? >> let me start with a comment you made, which i found to be fascinating, that there is between a $11 and $30 for every dollar spent. an ounce of prevention is worth every cure. that is a 16 fold ratio. we know that. our policy has to put that in
10:11pm
place. we need a baseline. of course we do. the only thing forcing the base lending rates to the baseline is smart companies -- the only thing forcing the baseline is smart companies, and they may as well get a baseline, because they will show we started which 30 walker, -- with 30 water, -- dirty water, but there are no resources to get the baseline. we know we need to drill the northeast over the next couple days. we need that baseline. we need it desperately, and we needed for human health as well. lots of different communities have different kinds of diseases.
10:12pm
they come in clusters. when there is a group of kids with autism or adults with pancreatic cancer, somebody is going to say, we did not have that until the drill rig went up there? we need to have the debate. you get the lawyers involved. you try to do a retrospective at exposure study. it is too hard. we need a baseline study that includes human health parameters so we can see if it has changed. >> you want to say something amont? \ >> i think it is important to place a value on ecosystem services. there is of value to the ecosystem and the resources that depend upon those ecosystems, and we need to address what the value is. there is of value to the fisheries and all the things that are important but we depend
10:13pm
on but have value, and until we can develop that appreciation and use that, it is going to be important to use that in how we are going to send that message. >> how confident are we about the causes of the gulf since zone? -- dead zone and what we can do change it? >> the scientific consensus is increase in nutrient loading over the last decade or so has led to increased primary production in the gulf and worsening hypoxia, the area that is getting larger and sometimes more severe, so there is a direct linkage between what happens and in the gulf of
10:14pm
mexico, whether it is contaminants, e. coli, it all affects the coastal system. as far as the science, it is very clear. these changes have happened in our recent past, not over geologic time and did not occur at the turn of the last century and the early 1900's, and we know that from ge logic records. -- from a geologic records. we know the issue is to generate a willingness for both political and social will to make changes in the watershed, many of them directed at agriculture practices.
10:15pm
the usgs has determined most of the nitrogen and phosphorous come from those sources but also make land-use and land architect changes that can be made in artificial wetlands, allowing them to put it away force us -- away from us. i think it is getting going. >> back to the comments about the mississippi river, i think when you have is a multiplier of sex that were not intended at the start. you basically made an escape route for the majority of the water. when you made was a place to shoot that into one place and keep putting it there.
10:16pm
we are seeing a combined affect of decisions that in some cases were made a century ago. >> if people want more missouri water to come in, but all the dams and reservoirs are where a lot of the sentiment is stored, so there is a lot of competing for the use of this distributor a. >> i have something to clarify regarding the investment of $11 versus $30. >> it depends on which parameters you use, but based upon flow protection measures and would have been in place
10:17pm
that equates to a reduction in risk. it equated suit hundreds of millions of dollars if not for the measures put in place, so it depends on what you look at, but it is primarily on what they could make in the risk and what it translates to on the benefit it would provide. >> i am going to combine a couple of questions, and that is given the things we have talked about, increased population density, issues involving resiliency, is there some threshold we should consider rebuilding after events like katrina or the storms we have had encountered? >> the question is should we rebuild.
10:18pm
from a local perspective i would answer that we should. it is not only from the local perspective but from the national perspective. in terms of the resources it provides for the nation but also our ability to sustain those resources and provide those to the nation, affording the communities that provide those resources to warrant protection, and we can demonstrate how we can build more resilience community's but we can also provide a natural buffer. the thing that completely changed the hydrology and the building of the delta, which cause a precipitous drop of wetlands we experienced, we are getting it from both ends. the plan we put together
10:19pm
recognizes that. we believe in the next 50 years we can develop a plan and create aa way to come an sustainable ecosystem and a sustainable coast to the nation. >> i like my job, so this is where i pass the microphone on slacking. -- fracking. not really. i already stated we need to make hard decisions about when we can do and what the mississippi can do for us good and bad now and think about the future and take care of the people in some way. some farmers have suggested shrimpers should find a new way
10:20pm
to make a living, and that does not sit well with me, but times are changing, and we have to be able to keep up with it and anticipate it. >> the question is is there a threshold. we say, of course there is a threshold. you could not move 100 million people without destroying people. there is some level you cannot keep to it, but it is a threshold with different vulnerabilities, and vulnerabilities change with time. what the threshold is will depend upon vulnerabilities and resilience, and that is how much you are able to build in the gulf is dependent upon how resilience you are going to be,
10:21pm
and the resiliency is created to go about doing the things we need to do. >> i am going to speak right now as an earth scientist with the perspective of the time, not as director of usgs. as someone with a perspective of deep time, this is how the earth works. people should not live below sea level, and the seas are rising. here is what happens. it is not the gradual rise of sea level but is going to get anyone. it is the combination of extreme events superimposed on the gradual rise of sea levels, and the extreme events that
10:22pm
destroy our natural protection, and here is what we saw with superstorm sandy. there were some amazing predictions done by hillary stockton, who is a scientist who looked up the barrier dunes along the northeast coast, and she predicted x marks the start with amazing accuracy of exactly which dunes would be breached and where the storm was going to go right through and inundates the coast. because of how good the models have become. and she did another prediction after the storm of because of the loss of barrier islands,
10:23pm
because how much they eroded, how much protection they offer now going into the future for future storms, and it turns out now for the next storm, even if it is not a superstar, even if it is a run-of-the-mill nor'easter, a number of breaches and inland coastal flooding will be widespread for the northeast because of the loss of that protection, so we have crossed already a threshold, even though sea level has not increased a lot between last october and now just because of superstorm sandy. superstorm sandy was a threshold for the northeast, and we crossed it. >> marcia will be heading to monterey after her service, so i
10:24pm
want to congratulate her and they occur. -- thank her. [applause] >> thanks for a phenomenal session and wonderful insights. >> president obama will unveil a new set of gun-control proposals following the newtown, conn., shootings. next comi-con and now a conference on gun violence. the house agreed to hurricane -- next, a conference on gun violence. the house agreed on hurricane sandy relief aid. >> on washington journal we will talk about budget and debt issues with the ranking member of the ways and means committee. also, the chairman of the house judiciary committee will take your calls on immigration laws and the debates over proposals addressing gun violence, and we will be joined by a staff
10:25pm
reporter whose recent article is titled "the mass of new plan to remake american politics -- massive new plan to remake american politics." >> next, a conversation on the second amendment, the right to keep and bear arms. we will hear from adam winkler, the author of the book gunfight. this is about 20 minutes. >> he is certainly one of the great emerging voices, insightful and influential of the nature of the meaning of the second amendment in the wake of the supreme court's decision, so thank you for joining me in this effort. i want to thank the organizers, everyone from the president down to staff that has organized a
10:26pm
terrific and hopefully impact full conference. i am not going to talk with any power. , because as a law enforcement -- as a law professor i do not like the focus on anyone but me. i am here to talk about the amendment to the constitution and what it says about major reform proposals being considered in the wake of the new town massacre. as you probably know, the second amendment provides a well- regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to bear arms shall not be infringed. it is almost as if james madison just discovered this wonderful a, andhing, the comm wanted to put it in there as many times as possible, and is
10:27pm
as confused americans as they try to figure out what was meant by this cryptic amendments, breaking up ideas. a sure sign of this confusion comes from a lot of the public statements we have seen since president barack obama said it was time for meaningful action to reduce gun violence, because what we have seen this many people argue in the president is not now read it arguing the president is preparing an assault on our rights -- when we have seen as many people are doing the president is taking away our rights. i call this confusion, because many people apparently have not been reading the court cases that interpret the second amendment and tell us what it means.
10:28pm
as larry and i argue in our contribution, the most popular proposals being considered today are likely constitutional. that is not to say there are not any questions about any of them, but they are likely to be upheld by the supreme court should they be enacted. from background checks to restrictions on sale of high- capacity magazines and even a ban on assault weapons, we think it is likely the supreme court will uphold these provisions. in defense of those who do seem confused about the nature of our second amendment rights, the supreme court has not done a great job of clarifying what is the scope of our second amendment rights. as most of you know, in 2008, the supreme court held that the second amendment protects the right of individuals to have guns for personal protection.
10:29pm
two years after that case, it struck down a lot in washington, d.c., that banned handguns and made it unlawful for you to use a shotgun or rifle for self- defense. ninth two years after that -- two years after that the supreme court held the second amendment similarly applied to state and local governments and effectively declared chicago's them on handguns unconstitutional. on handguns ban unconstitutional. advocates make it clear exactly how the courts should go about interpreting the second amendment and applying it to other gun-control laws. it is one thing to identify a right in the constitution, but where the rubber hits the road is figuring out which laws are constitutional and which laws are unconstitutional, so they
10:30pm
asked the supreme court to adopt clear standards so they can apply the second amendment in the tidal wave of lawsuits but was sure to come if the supreme court found that an individual right to bear arms. the tidal wave came, but the clarity did not. we have seen a huge number of cases, a little more than 300 federal court decisions on constitutionality of a wide variety of gun-control laws since 2008, and they refuse to articulate a clear standard of review and said, we will address the questions as they come about, but the supreme court did provide some guidance as to the nature and meaning of the second amendment and how to approach gun-control questions. the court said it was not a right to have any gun anytime, anywhere you wanted. it was not a libertarian license
10:31pm
for you to have whatever gun you choose to have. the supreme court made clear the second amendment is not unlimited, and looking at history and tradition as guideposts, the supreme court recognized many gun-control laws have been upheld under this amendment over american history. they pointed out the majority upheld restrictions on concealed ann curry firearms. the court also said not everything that could be considered an armed -- restrictions on concealed firearms. this included weapons in use for common purposes, not dangerous and unusual weapons like machine guns, and perhaps the most important question, the supreme court said nothing should be
10:32pm
taken to cast doubt longstanding -- to cast out longstanding provisions. when you think about it, that counters probably the majority of gun control laws. the court said all of these laws out thisl, iand pointed list was not meant to be exhaustive and pointed out there are other measures law enforcement can take. with this limited guidance the lower courts have confronted this tidal wave. i mention 300 cases today, but only a small fraction of those federal court cases have invalidated the challenged laws. the vast majority of gun-control laws have been upheld and rely on the decisions.
10:33pm
we are seeing an emerging framework for analyzing gun- control laws that has become the norm in the majority of circuits that have addressed the issue. it is essential for the courts to undertake a two-step process in analyzing constitutionality of a gun control law. they determine if a particular law being challenged, if that burdens activities within the scope of the second amendment. the court said the corps' second amendment right is the right to have a functional firearm hornein the home. not everyone can be said to fall within the scope of the second amendment. for instance, bans on felons or the mentally ill. that obviously restricts the right for someone to have a gun in their home for self-defense, but a court suggests that felons and mentally ill are outside the
10:34pm
scope of the second amendment. they do not have a right to have a firearm in their home for self-defense. they are outside the second amendment. a lot of courts have universally held restrictions on guns, possessions of guns by people with restraining orders are also constitutional. many of those courts have said those people are outside the scope of the second amendment, so the law did not burden second amendment rights at all in these cases. we might also think of restrictions on machine guns or silencers, which are not thought to be arms under the purposes of the second amendment, not typically used for self-defense purposes and not subject to the second amendment dispute. if some activity is regulated by a lot like a down on silencers or machine guns -- like a ban on
10:35pm
silencers or machine guns, the law is upheld, and the case is over. if a law does burden activity under the second amendment, the court as a second question, and i asked richard the court asks a second question, and i ask how severe is -- the court asks the second question, and i ask how severe is that? they determine if the law is sufficiently well-designed to serve the government ends. this has two steps, weighing the analysis of ends and means. is the law well-deserved -- well-designed to meet those needs? how is a lot of burden? if it nullifies the right to have a functional firearm in the home, it is likely invalid, no
10:36pm
matter what, so we have seen handgun bans in washington, d.c., and chicago struck it down. as they apply to law abiding citizens, a law that dems people from having access to those weapons is t -- that bans people from having access to these weapons is unconstitutional. maybe restrictions from having firearms in public housing is likely to be the type of law courts would say is a severe burden on second amendment rights of likely in valid. -- and likely invalid. very minor burdens, not a significant burden at all, but the court would say it is likely the government does not need especially strong reasons to uphold such a law. these might be thought of as incidental burdens. it is often the case you can
10:37pm
restrict our rights with what are known as incidental burdens as a way to ensure those who exercise the rights are entitled, so sometimes you will hear that is not how we treat the first amendment. let's think about how we treat the right to vote for the right to marry. those fundamental rights are protected by our constitution. the court says you can require people to register so they can vote. you can require people to get a license before they get married. these are incidental burden is the supreme court says that do not stop people from exercising the right to vote or getting married. where the law is an intermediate burden, little justification has been made. the vast majority of gun control laws fall within the middle ground. they are not a severe burden, and they are not an incidental burden. they fall within the middle
10:38pm
range, and courts say where a lot of suburban -- hall law does urban -- where a law does burden the second amendment they are under scrutiny. independent scrutiny is used throughout international law. it basically asks two questions. for the law to survive it has to substantially further a government interest. the government interest has to be when imported government interest, and the law has to further about -- has to be an important government interest, and the law has to further that. the important government interest is public safety, reduction of gun violence. these are some of the most compelling interest the
10:39pm
government can have, and when intermediate scrutiny is applied, even burdens on one's right to have a firearm, the first prong of intermediate scrutiny is easily met. to answer the second question, does this law substantially further the interested public safety, courts look to see did lawmakers have adequate evidence to support the idea this law would further public safety? that is why so much work being done at this conference is important with regard to what happens with gun-control in the future. in new york one of the houses passed a major gun-control law. i am sure it will be challenged under the second amendment, and it is the research produced the help satisfy the courts there is a substantial relationship between a gun control and reform
10:40pm
and reduction of public safety. how does this emerging free- market apply to the proposals -- how does this emerging affect apply to these proposals? we might think of universal background checks. closing the gun show loophole, it is a private sale loophole allows a person to person fails to occur without a background check. there are proposals -- person to person sales to occur without a background check. does this burden protect a second amendment activity? not likely. it serves as a simple screen that is used to determine who is entitled to exercise this right and who is not entitled to exercise the rights. very much equivalent to what we see with the right to vote. it requires people to register in advance, and the burden is
10:41pm
most likely to be an incidental burden white registration requirements, -- not just like registration requirements. it is not a severe burden on a gun purchaser. it happens quickly without much trouble. even if the burden is thought to be more severe, this law is well designed to deprive criminals and the mentally ill access to firearms. according this requirement matches of the recognition of the legitimacy of laws imposing conditions on the commercial sale of firearms. what about assault weapons? to determine if assault weapons are arms protected by the second amendment, we need to know if the firearms are in common use or if they are dangerous and
10:42pm
unusual weapons. that was a dichotomy set up by the united states supreme court. if they are in common use like handguns we have to go to the second step of the analysis. if they are dangerous and unusual weapons like machine gun, the analysis would stop there. assault weapons are pretty commonplace. they become popular and firearms in a gun rights community. there are apparently tens of millions of these firearms out there, arguably they are commonly used, but one argument is while they are common they are not commonly used for the core purpose of the second amendment, self-defense. they are poor self-defense weapons. it is hard to maneuver in the home, and projectiles are propelled of such a rate they are likely to pose dangers and who people as they go through walls, endangering family
10:43pm
members or neighbors. if that is right, assault weapons would not be thought to be within the scope of the second amendment, and yet i should admit we talked extensively that there are some reasonable arguments you could make against an assault weapons ban. an assault weapons ban by one meaning says the gun is in common use if used for any lawful purpose, and if that is the case they are generally used for unlawful purposes. an assault weapons ban might not satisfy the demands, might not further the government's interest in public safety, given that they are rarely used in crime, and the law adopted now mirrors and now the 1994 assault weapons to iran, and that was notorious -- assault weapons
10:44pm
ban, that was notorious for loopholes. i think the government could have difficulty defending such a law. i should say the highest court in the country to consider an assault weapons ban today was the d.c. circuit, and it upheld such a ban. the court assumed the weapons were in common use, but the ban imposed no real burden on the ability to have a firearm in self-defense. similar analysis would go to do restrictions on high-capacity magazines. would those capable of holding more than 10 rounds of ammunition to be unconstitutional? it is a similar case. are they using? are they for self-defense? the same case upheld the sale of
10:45pm
high-capacity magazines. yes, they are in common use. there are millions out there. however, the court said self- defense does not require more than 10 rounds of ammunition. there remains issues of whether this substantially furthers government interests. recent data suggest the 1994 ban did have an impact, but the rate at which high-capacity magazines were recovered who appears to have recovered significantly in the wake of the lot and increase dramatically after the law was inspired. in my book i tried to show there is a long history of gun- control in america. gun-control is not the modern 20th-century invention many tell us. the right to keep and bear arms has not historically been thought to be a significant limit on reasonable gun-control
10:46pm
laws short of disarmament. today the impediment remains congress, not the supreme court. the court has made clear many forms of gun control, including the various proposals being considered in washington today, to not offend the second amendment. thank you. [applause] >> thank you very much. our last presentation of the day, we have dr. colleen barry. >> more from the gun violence summit at john hopkins university. next a look of public opinion on gun-control laws. this is 35 minutes. >> it is an honor to say i am a faculty member here at johns hopkins and a member of this
10:47pm
extraordinary community. before i begin, the title of my talk is public opinion on proposals to strengthen u.s. gun laws, and i want to acknowledge my wonderful collaborators on this work. i think nobody in this room or maybe on the johns hopkins campus is unfamiliar with my collaborators, who have done such fabulous work in the context of this summit but also on this specific study done in a very short timeframe. many of you might not know he is emblematic of the kind of students that are extraordinary. she is the fourth year doctoral student in our ph.d. program, and i think it is fair to say without her talents and involvement in this project it would not have occurred, so
10:48pm
thank you. >> i think i may be the only speaker presenting research and who is not an expert on gun policy and gun violence. my expertise is on health policy and mental -- substance- abuse policy. i also spent a lot of time thinking about and conducting public opinion and research and have interest in research methods. as the context i became involved in the work of this summit. i think with things that caught my attention in the weeks following the sandy hook tragedy was as we saw public opinion data come out on this, the majority of polling and research was asking questions about the general attitude from the public. does the public support stricter
10:49pm
or less strict gun laws? those perceptions about the nra and relatively little information in the early weeks, no information about american attitudes and support for specific policy proposals, and i think in this fast-paced environment of policy deliberations over this issue, it is critical to understand how the public thinks about specific proposals to strengthen gun laws. we live in a democracy. we should care about what our public things, and we should bring the best research methods to bear on identifying the level of support in the public overall but also to understand how support may vary across some groups in our society, so this
10:50pm
is what we did. we designed a data collection instrument to determine support for 33 policies among americans overall by gun ownership and stratified by political party identification, and to get gun ownership, most of the survey were is your typical thousand person poll, and it is hard to give precise estimates using an approach for smaller subgroups within opinion polls, so we over sampled gun owners and non gun owners living in households with guns. we have basically the find the survey. we apologized where do we basically define the survey over christmas. we apologize to our family members. the survey was designed between the 24 and 27. reprogrammed it.
10:51pm
-- we program did. we got it on the field in january 2. -- reprogram it0 -- we programmed it. what i am going to present is preliminary data, and there is basically an interim data set, but the results do not change based on distribution of responses. i do not think the results will defer when we do the final analysis by more than a percentage point. the survey that did this does a ton of work across academic disciplines, and they have been a great partner for us entering this over a short time frame, so i want to acknowledge them. they have a probability-based very large web panel, which is a
10:52pm
great dancer in the current environment to some of the serious challenges related to conducting telephone research. our results related to the who -- our results related to the share of gun ownership is consistent, within a percentage point of the general social survey. we see 33% of americans reported having a gun in their home or their garage, and that breaks down into two groups. 22% of americans personally identify as gun owners, an 11% of americans identify as non-gun owners living in a household with a gun. that means 67% of americans identified as non gun owners living in non done households. i will stratify by these groups,
10:53pm
so just to give you a sense of proportions. i am going to give you a quick rundown of the major findings of the survey, and i am going to get into the data. we find a majority of americans support a gun policies, including a ban on the sale of assault weapons, of them on the sale of -- a ban on the sale of large scale magazines, a range of measures to improve oversight of gun dealers, only five of the 33 policies were supported by less than a majority of the american public. for quite a few policies, the views of non-gun owners living in households with guns were more aligned with other non-gun owners and gun owners, and for many policies the difference was smaller than expected. for me as someone who has not spent my career in this area,
10:54pm
they were smaller than i anticipated. we have 20 who did we have 33 policies. there is an -- we have 33 policies. there is a ton of data. i am going to go through a lot of information. this is interesting information, and i am going to talk fast, so bear with me. now everything is described in terms of support. these are assault weapons and ammunition policies. over 65% in support of the ban of assault weapons. the band of the sale of large capacity ammunition magazines that allow guns to shoot more than 10 bullets and more than 20 bullets. i want to point out a near majority or majority support for these policies, and this slide illustrates an interesting thing we saw more generally, which is
10:55pm
support who for gun owners, which you can see the report very low levels and support for these policies. we ask about possession of assault weapons, possession of large capacity magazines, and you can see a low level of support in the american population as a whole for both of these policies in the context, and we heard about this this morning of a policy where the government is required to take -- to pay gun owners the fair market value of their weapons. here are the assault weapons and ammunition policies broken down by republicans, independents, and democrats. you can see the sales policies for the weapons. the assault weapons and magazine
10:56pm
policies, over 50% of republicans, democrats, and independence support these policies. here are the prohibited persons policies, and this first line illustrates a very broad support among gun owners and non-gun owners for these policies, which include prohibiting a person convicted of two or more crimes involving alcohol or drugs of holding a gun, committed of domestic violence restraining order, a serious crime as a juvenile, being on a terrorist watch list, even for a policy daniel talked about yesterday which is preventing a person under 21 from having a handgun, over 50% support among gun owners and among others. here our policies relating to a misdemeanor convictions, and you can see gun owners and non-gun owners are alike in terms of what policies they like the least, and these are two types of misdemeanors related to drunken disorderly conduct or
10:57pm
indecent exposure, very low levels of support across the board. here are the breakdowns by political party identification, and with the exception of the misdemeanor policies i described, high levels of support among republicans, independents, and democrats for all of these policies. here are the policies relating to a background checks. the first policy is the universal are ground check. very high levels of support among non-gun owners and gun owners alike. even majority support among nra members who are gun owners as well as high levels of support for these other specific policies relating to background checks. very high support across the political party identification as well for the universal are crown check policy as well as the other and -- universal background check policy as well as the other policies. you can see these policies -- i am going to point out this
10:58pm
result. high support for all of these policies, majority's support among the gun owners and near majority support among nra members. i am not going to go through these policies because i am talking quickly right now, but one example is requiring a mandatory minimum sentence of two years in prison for a person convicted of knowingly selling a gun to a person who cannot have a gun. here are the policies in terms of political party identification. here are the policies affecting those with mental illness. the first three policies our background check related policies. we have heard a lot about these policies over the last two days, and you can see the high levels of support for these policies, including among gun owners and nra members who are gun owners. the lowest levels of support for a policy allowing people who have lost the right to have a gun to to mental illness to have that right restored if they are determined to not be dangerous.
10:59pm
this type of restoration policy is not supported at high levels by any of these subgroups. over a majority at high level of support over a policy to increase spending on mental health screening and treatment as a strategy to reduce gun violence. a majority supported across the board. here is the breakdown of these policies by political party identification. you can see the top three background check policies are supported at high levels by republicans, independents, and democrats, but a petition to regain gun rights has the lowest level of support among all three, and for the policy to increase gun -- government spending on mental health treatment, a little bit more of a political gradient. slightly less than a majority of republicans support this policy, although it is worth noting and a question -- this is why wording is so critical -- that includes the phrase
11:00pm
government funding for -- is going to attack into our feet -- going to cap into our phrasing. that is an important phrasing. here are the last three gun policies. requiring a person has high levels of support across forehead including a majority of gun owners. although again the same caveat in terms of using the concept of government funding. there are ways beyond government funding to increase adoption of smartphone technology. here is the policy requiring bylaw that a person locked up the guns in their home when not in use to prevent handling by kids without adult supervision
11:01pm
and you can see a gradient of support and some difference in opinion as might be expected on this policy by gun ownership status. here are these three policies in terms of majority support by a political party identification. ok. what can we conclude from this research? first of all, we find high support among -- including among gun owners for a wide range of gun policies. the most feasible policy is from a political perspective including 20 from this list of 33 with a majority support regardless of gun ownership or political party identification. i think the bottom-line from the study as policymakers have a large range of options to choose from which are supported by the american public. i cannot emphasize this enough for in the context of the discussions we have been having over the last couple of days
11:02pm
related to the fact that there are multiple levels of problems here and that speaks to the need for more combined and comprehensive approach and this research suggests that kind of approach would be supported by the american public. thank you for your time. [applause] i should say for detailed information, checkout look in two weeks -- the book in two weeks. an enormously quick effort. they're also going through peer review very quickly. daniel tells me we can invade tenets of his concluding remarks -- 10 minutes of his concluding remarks with questions for this panel.
11:03pm
are there questions? c-span is still streaming today. maybe the microphones have gone away. here comes one. >> this is a comment. >> can you raise your voice at the end? >> add a question. -- and a question. it is prefaced by -- what a great piece of work. i did not mean you. the research. >> only with tenure can you say
11:04pm
things like that. >> you mentioned the importance of language. i have a stake and an interest in the question that dealt with government funding and i appreciate your -- the response may be influenced by the preface of firman funding. here's another thing that influence their response. when we did surveys a little after 2000, we did a series, four ways of random digit dial encompassing 12 -- adults representing the american population and we asked about personalized guns. we asked about personalized guns and we asked about childproof guns. i used those synonymous leave. the state of new jersey use them
11:05pm
as anonymously when it passed into law. we found a substantial difference, though, in the answers that we got, whether it was personalized. when we ask people, would you favor a law requiring all new guns to be personalized, there was an explanation of what that was. my recollection was it was in the mid-1960's when we asked a question with regard to child proof guns. in the general population it was 88%. when we tease out the gun owners it was 81%. how we spin the question are phrase the question is going to be very important. >> can you hear me? i want to make a quick comment on this. those are wonderful, extremely important points and i will say yes somebody who has not spent my career in this area and i went to the research literature to find out what they prior
11:06pm
polls -- the prior polls said. the last publication was from 1998. so long ago we need more of today, more research on public attitudes about this issue done using scare early -- scholarly research efforts. we did this in such a short time frame. we were not able to include the questions we would have and there are many questions in the original study that were not asking the steady and that should be replicated now, i think. thank you. prentixx good morning. -- >> good morning.
11:07pm
i want to ask a question about a sub-group you have not talked about. the reasonable people who buy guns for the -- for protection. is there any evidence that this makes sense? is someone invading their home with a weapon? is there a weapon in the home, our people successfully addressing home invasion? what is the evidence around self-defense in the home? >> i will very briefly respond. david might also want to contribute. generally speaking, the data, whether you're talking about a case controlled household study design or in more ecological examination of places where there are more guns versus less
11:08pm
guns generally show our relationship where there are more guns, there is more death including homicide. but self-defense type of opportunities are pretty rare. david heminway has demonstrated pretty well why we should be skeptical at least of some surveys of self-defense because it is easy to be prone to exaggeration. that is what the nature of those incidents were. i want to give you an opportunity. >> let me just mention that he is a professor at the harvard school of public health and has done lots of work on permits and on the risks and benefits of gun ownership. i do not know if you have a
11:09pm
microphone available. it looks like it is coming down here for you. >> so what daniel said is correct. the evidence indicates a gun is a large factor for a completed suicide and also for from a side. it is dangerous for women. there is not as much evidence about a man in the home. the evidence indicates that a gun is used to intimidate somebody in the home but then to protect yourself against an intruder. for most people it looks like the evidence is pretty strong that it is not a wise choice to have a gun in the home in terms of public health. i have a question for adam. can you talk about the second
11:10pm
amendment and this notion of having a gun to protect us against the totalitarian dictatorship that may take over and we require the gun owners [inaudible] >> largely they were divorced from our current constitution and how it is understood. the supreme court said the core rate of protected by the second amendment was the right of self- defense. to have a functional firm in your home. if you think about civilian possession of firearms, it is -- the world is vastly different
11:11pm
than it was in 1791. the framers were afraid of a standing army. we have a standing army today. i think that many people who support this insurrectionist bellevue were disappointed that the supreme court in 2008 did not give voice to this more anti-government view of the second amendment. the truth is the second amendment envisions a well- regulated militia. whether the founding fathers thought it was important to have civilian gun ownership as a deterrent for tyranny, the second amendment itself clearly envisioned government regulation of the militia. the supreme court said when the farmers referred to the militia in the second amendment -- framers referred to the militia in the second amendment, they were referring to the body of citizens ready to grab their guns and ready to fight in an instant. the militia would be well
11:12pm
regulated by the government. the founding fathers had extensive laws that required people to shop at amendatory musters with their guns in tow where they would be -- they and their guns would be inspected and registered on public roles. for all the controversy over president obama's health care mandate, they have got so much attention in june of last year, the founding fathers in 1792 pass a law requiring every free citizen, free mail between the ages of 18 and 45 to outfit themselves with a rifle. a military style musket for -- capable of serving in the militias. the founding fathers did not view the second amendment as a basis for insurrection. rather, they viewed it as part of a well-regulated militia. >> thank you. >> i was wondering if you could
11:13pm
talk a little bit about whether in the publication you might be able to stress i or break out likely voters. just thinking about polls that people are paying attention. also 2 likely voters and also by state or region of the country. >> those are good questions. suurvrvey firms have algorithms that allow them to break out motors. for this purpose we care about the views of all americans and so we wanted to report the rates of support among americans, broadly speaking. we did not ask that likely voter
11:14pm
battery to subset the data. there are other important ways once we have time to further analyze the data beyond what will appear in the chapter, that may be of interest in terms of some groups -- sub-groups, region of the country, correlated with a gun ownership. that has to be done with some care. we talked about how age matters on this issue. just being here on a university context is important to understand how younger people versus older people think about relationissues related to gun v. and for insight into where we're going as a country as jagger people become older and have more in ability to influence the political process. great point, critical to understand these data in terms of various different types of
11:15pm
things that matter. thank you. >> i know there are many more questions but -- you want to take one more? all right. where is the microphone? >> i would like to thank the speakers for the wonderful information that has been brought forth i would like to say that i would have expected more talk on the impact, the important impact of training on effectively reducing gun violence. for law enforcement personnel, for ex-military personnel, the average citizen in our schools, businesses, training is the glue that holds together all the
11:16pm
measures we have been discussing yesterday and today. >> thank you. dannell, would you like to respond to that? >> i have one brief comment. thank you. professor winkler said that defense by gun in the home is a rare event. that may be true. nonetheless, it is an important effect for those who have been affected by it. and that was the importance of training. thank you. >> thank you for your comments. i want to wrap up with some reflections on what has been an amazing couple of days. i will start with the banks --
11:17pm
thanks, what a fabulous group of contributors we have for this event. [applause] jan and i sought out to get the best minds available to tackle what is a very complex problem. if you just look at understanding the gun violence by itself, that is a struggle. if you start to think about the policy challenges, that is another struggle and a level of complexity. you have the legal issues and then all the political things we have been talking about. i really feel like we were successful in bringing the right people together to address that and i feel very good about that. i also feel confident this will
11:18pm
lead to productive solutions to address one of our most important public health problems. prior to the sandy hook elementary school shooting, we had had a terrible year with mass shootings. i was pitching truly frustrated following those events, the level of discourse that occurred -- particularly frustrated following those events, the level of discussion that occurred. the messages i felt were getting through work really quite inaccurate. -- were really quite inaccurate. there is disagreement among americans on gun-control. nobody really wants gun control. we cannot do anything because of the second amendment. there are no gun laws that work.
11:19pm
all of these things we have found with the best evidence and the best people to be false. we can go forward. we do have data. we do have very good ideas about how to address a very important problem. underestimate the challenges on any dimensions. it is a very complex problem, particularly the political aspect to it. i think the contributions, our last panel give me and others here a level of optimism. that we're in a different place right now. our country is at a different place. and i think we do have things that can work. i was very inspired by our
11:20pm
panelists this morning, by how in australia and brazil, scotland, they have responded and it was not easy. i particularly am so impressed with the efforts in brazil, knowing they sort of obstacles that were in front of them there. i'll leave here with great optimism that we're in a different place now. we can make meaningful change. i want everyone to know what comes next. you have heard that we will be coming out with a book published by johns hopkins university press within less than two weeks, i believe. every effort will be made to make that available to the relevant policy makers and the general public. one final thing i wanted to say.
11:21pm
i have been thanking the contributors, but i want to thank the johns hopkins community. it is tremendous to see the level of interest and deeply felt commitment to address this problem by so many people who do not necessarily work on this. it is not their career. there are other important things they're working on in public health or other areas. i for one half felt really supported by that. i think that is it. let's go out and make some change. [applause]
11:22pm
>> johns hopkins held a two day summit on gun violence in the u.s.. at the end of the conference, officials gave their recommendations for changing the nation's gun laws. we will hear from ronald daniel and the head of the hopkins center for research. >> i am the director of public affairs at the school of public health. i wanted to make a few brief announcement. this program is being broadcast on the web and we would like to welcome people that are watching us on the internet. our speakers are going to make a few brief remarks and will have 50 minutes for questions. for the reporters that are here we will have a microphone. we ask that you state your questions so that the audience
11:23pm
can hear. we're about to start. i would like to introduce you to president ronald j. daniels. >> think you and welcome and thank you to reporters covering this extraordinary gun policy summit both here and on the internet. this has been a very important today's. the summit came together in the wake of the tragedy in newtown connecticut. given the drastically high rates of gun violence, starkly illustrated by numerous mass shootings and now at an elementary school but also experienced on a daily basis in neighborhoods across our country. we knew at johns hopkins that we could not let this moment pass. we wanted to do all that we
11:24pm
could to bring together national and global experts, advocates, and leaders on gun violence and policy to present their research analysis and perspectives. to the efforts, we were able to organize quickly and thoughtfully an international conference on reducing gun violence in america. with the call for action at the federal level, this is the effort to galvanize expertise and advance the discussion of gun violence in america through robust research and evidence. we also understood that a critical component of the summit would be to create a set of research based policy recommendations that can inform, that can shape, that can
11:25pm
support the policy debate. these will help lawmakers and opinion leaders identified the policy changes that are most likely to reduce gun violence in the united states and you will hear these important recommendations in a moment. finally, as we have indicated a number of times throughout the summit, we will be publishing a book on the summit that will be available to the public in two weeks. that book will be published by johns hopkins press and will capture the state-of-the-art research that was discussed over the last two days at the summit. before turning it over to the podium i want to think the scores of people, many of whom are in this room, who have made this operation remarkable. it was a herculean effort and i am most grateful to the time and energy people put into this. this was not a scheduled conference. this is not something that is planned months in advance but something that was pulled together in short notice because
11:26pm
we felt the imperative to contrary to this important debate. i want to take this opportunity to thank new york marylanders michael bloomberg and all the presenters for their willingness to come together on short notice tuesday part in these important events. i am not pleased to introduce members of our faculty -- i am now pleased to introduce members of our faculty. i want to introduce daniel webster, and coleen berry, who also has some important survey findings to share will also be on the podium with me. i will turn it over to dannell webster -- daniel webster. >> thank you very much and thank you for your extraordinary
11:27pm
support and leadership through this process. my colleagues at the johns hopkins center for urban policy and research and at the bloomberg school of public health are very grateful for your leadership and support. last two days have been an amazing experience for me to bring to the other the best scholars, the best expertise to grapple with and come forward with a set of recommendations that will be based on the best available research and experience. i will touch very briefly upon the expertise that we assembled. as president danville's alluded to, we searched far and wide and we ask individuals to come in from several different countries too contributed to this effort. we have criminologists, public health leaders, legal experts, a
11:28pm
really vast span of experience and expertise and many decades of working on this problem of gun violence and solutions to it. following mass shootings, we tended to go through a similar process and prior to the most recent tragedy in newtown, we heard a refrain of things i knew to be not the case. we would hear that nothing works. current policies do not work. there's no agreement, there is too much division on public opinion. we cannot address this because of the constitution. we brought together the scholarship to refute all those
11:29pm
efforts and we think we have this set of recommendations that not only will be affected by reducing gun violence in america, but will also be constitutional and have very wide support among the public, including most gun owners. we have distributed our press the specifichas thi recommendations. i will talk about the general areas that we feel the reforms are necessary and would bring about important change to save lives. there was a very strong consensus thato fix our system r background checks. it is indefensible we have a system that allows people to
11:30pm
sell firearms with no background checks, no record keeping, and no accountability. we recommend this be changed so that every single firearms transaction will except that someone is inheriting a firearm. that that be processed through a federally licensed firearms dealer with a background check and record keeping process. we also identified a set of recommendations to address what is a well-established fact that a very small number of gun dealers contributed to a very large problem of pulling the illicit gun market. that is the aisleigh due to the fact that several current policies do not enable the atf to hold fire arms sellers accountable for following the
11:31pm
basic rules to keep guns from dangerous people. we also have a set of recommendations in an area that i think is not adequately discussed when we have different policy discussions about guns. that is taking a close look at who should be legally able to possess guns, or what we have found in evidence we have examined is a current conditions for permitting firearms purchase. str yjr-- are they adequate? we have a number of recommendations for example -- we have a number of recommendations. prohibiting individuals convicted of a violent
11:32pm
misdemeanor from purchasing firearms and other categories of individuals such as individuals who committed a serious violent crime, processed through the juvenile court, to be prohibited from purchasing a firearm for an extended period of time. also have the general recommendations in respect to mental health and guns. first and foremost, a federal restrictions on gun purchases for persons with serious mental illness should be focused on the dangerousness of the individual and we think the current law is not focused adequately and danger and has a very broad category that does not really capture the individuals that are really of greatest concern. we also made recommendations on
11:33pm
the topic of assault weapons, to ban future sales of assault weapons, crafted definition to reduce risk that the law can be easily evaded as the prior ban was. we also recommended banning the future sale and possession of large capacity ammunition magazines, those being ammunition magazines that hold greater than 10 rounds of ammunition. finally, and very importantly, we have recommendations relevant to research. we believe the federal government should provide funds to the centers of disease control, national institutes of health and national institutes of justice to understand the causes and solutions of and violence, commensurate with its impact on public health and
11:34pm
safety. we also recommend the surgeon general issue a regular report on the state of the problem of gun violence in america and progress toward solutions. those are the general recommendations. we have more specific ones that are in our press release. i also as i alluded to before, the measures we are recommending, we did -- there was an investigation to look at current public opinion on the very specific kinds of policies, as many polls asked too general a question. dr. berry will be available to answer questions. we can now open it up for
11:35pm
questions and i will ask please to use the microphone and identify yourself. to make a couple of points related to what daniel just said about the research we have done here. over the last two weeks, we in the weeks following the tragedy at sandy hook, we noticed much of the public opinion research that was done was focusing on general attitudes among the public and we were interested in looking at a broad range of specific policies and understanding support among the general public, among americans and among specific subgroups. in particular, differences by gun ownership and differences by political party identification.
11:36pm
we conducted over the last two weeks public opinion surveys including 2400 respondents on 31 different public policies to try to understand support. in brief we found the majority americans supported most of the 33 policies that we asked about including the ban on the sale of assault weapons, the ban on the sale of large capacity ammunition magazines, a range of measures prohibiting persons from having guns, a range of measures related to strengthening the background check system and to improve oversight of gun dealers. support for many of these policies was i regardless of political party identification. for many of these policies, the differences between gun owners and non-gun owners were smaller than might have been anticipated.
11:37pm
we hope that the research findings will provide specific guidance to policy makers in the context of understanding american support for a range of specific policies that are available for addressing the problem of gun violence and the takeaway message from the research is there is a broad set of policies that policymakers can choose from that are supported by the american public. thank you. >> so now if there are questions that anyone has? >> they question is what is next? you have made their recommendations. does this go to congress or mr. biden's committee?
11:38pm
>> thank you for your question. the intention is the book that we're writing will be delivered directly to members of congress and members of the administration and we have already been in communication with many of those individuals. >> can you expand upon the assault weapon proposed ban? won't that just put guns in the hands of criminals and do little to keep people safe? what is your theory behind it? >> the theory is these are weapons that are designed for military purposes. we believe they pose a unique threat particularly with respect to mass shootings and there is data to support that that the
11:39pm
casualty numbers tend to be larger with such weapons. we believe that citizens have plenty of options available to them to purchase other types of firearms for self protection or sporting use. next question. >> in regard to assault weapons as well. as part of the recommendations perhaps a buyback system to make the federal government or someone would buy these guns from voters because it would be very hard to take guns away from people that already own them. >> you're right. our group discussed the that very difficult question that you raise. we decided that it would be more feasible to ban the future sale of such weapons. with respect to large capacity magazines, that we would
11:40pm
recommend the purchase and possession and that would involve some type of buyback system. >> could you talk a little bit more about the universe a background check portion of it? specifically the exception and how that would work? >> sure. i think it is quite simple. there is a system set up under federal law. if you're going to purchase a firearm from a federally licensed dealer you have to fill out a form to indicate you do not fall into any one of the prohibiting categories. you have to submit to and pass a background check. we believe the general idea behind that has almost universal support. the general notion that you should not be able to purchase a firearm before you have some
11:41pm
validation, you have not fallen into one of these prohibiting categories. if you are depriving former owner who wants to sell a gun, you would do that through a licensed dealer who would presumably be able to charge a fee for that service. does that answer that question? >> other questions? ok. thank you. >> after the sandy hook elementary school shootings, president obama created a task force headed by vice-president biden to make recommendations to curb gun violence. the president will unveil this proposals wednesday. live coverage from the white house starts at 11:45 a.m. eastern.
11:42pm
>> later tonight, a discussion on natural disasters, the internment, and the gulf coast. the house passed its $51 billion hurricane sandy relief bill. added to the $9.70 billion measure passed earlier this month, the package includes money for long-term reconstruction and for the immediate needs of victims. here is some of that debate. tleman is recognized. mr. rogers: madam speaker, i rise to present legislation providing emergency sulemental funding for hurricane sandy relief and recovery. the base bill totals $17 billion in crucial funding to meet immediate needs for the victims, businesses and communities devastated by hurricane sandy. since this terrible storm hit, we've come to realize that recovery is going to take
11:43pm
months and years, notays and weeks. . this legislation puts the region on the path to recovery by providing the aid needed for immediate relief. we are also analyzing the justifications for further financial aid for long-term relief. that would come in a later supplemental or a regular appropriations bill. significant portion of the funding in this bill will go to the most direct source of relief and recovery funding available to theictims of the storm, the fema disaster relief fund, which will provide individual and community assistance throughout the affected region. the bill also will support critical housing and infrastructure needsensure repairs to damaged veterans' medical facilities, and help keep the economy moving by funding necessary repairs, small
11:44pm
business loans, and recovery aid for businesses of all sizes. my committee thoroughly examined the emergency request, listened to the needs of the people and the region, and assessed the most pressing needs to determine the funding levels paid in this bill. we crafted this legislation responsibly, giving the administration's request and the senate passed bill a hard scrub to eliminate unnecessary spending. we have removed objectionable provisions added by the senate and have adjusted funding levels to make the best use of taxpayer dollars.
11:45pm
as we know, we face precarious fiscal times and it's essential that congress make responsible decisions to ensure efficient and effective spending. taking cues from previous efforts we have included important oversight measures to prevent abuse and ensure that federal agencies are using these funds effectively and appropriately. this is not the first major natural disaster nor unfortunately will it be the last. one of the great attributes of the american people has been our ability and willingness to come together time and time again to help victims of catastrophes recover. we have seen the havoc that sandy has wrought on the residents of our northeast
11:46pm
region, and it is once again our duty to help our people get back on their feet. i urge our colleagues to support this legislation. the chair: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentlelady from new york. mrs. lowey: i rise in strong supporof this bill and i want to thank chairman rogers, chairman frelinghuysen for taking the lead on this very important legislation. i rise in strong suppt of the underlying bill with the addition of the frelinghuysen amendment. it will help families, businesses, and communities affected by sandy recover and rebuild. in the 79 days that have passed since superstorm sandy caused such destruction, i have worked with colleagues on both sides of the aisle, with governor cuomo and christie, chairman rogers,
11:47pm
mr. king of new york, mr. frelinghuysen, and all our colleagues from affected stat to provide long overdue assistance to our regions. sandy devastated much of the northeast and it's one of the costliest natural disasters in our nation's history. 110 americans lost their lives, 8.1 million homes were without power. beaches across new york and new jersey were destroyed. more than 650,000 homes were damaged beyond repair. sandy ground regional commerce to a halt by making tunnels and our transportation networks impassable. 265,000 businesses in new york alone were severely affected by sandy, costing jobs, paychecks, and billions lost in economic output.
11:48pm
there is no excuse for the house not passing the senate bill last congress, but i'm very pleased that the first order of business in the 113th congress may be passing this emergency disaster relief package. along with the 9.7 billion flood insurance bill -- $9.7 billion flood surance bill the house past a few weeks ago, the frelinghuysen amendment would provide $60 billion of the $80 billion in needs identified by our governors. there are a number of provisions i would like to highlight. $16 billion forcommunity development block grants thelp communities -- community and businesses rebuild. $13 billion to repair and harden transportation infrastructure. $5.35 billion to repair damages and bolster army corps projects to protect against costly future disasters. $11.5 billion for the fema
11:49pm
disaster relief fund, which not only helps provide public assistance in the northeast, but also allows fema to continue helping victims of other disasters. $780 million to help businesses open their doors through s.b.a. loans. and $800 million to health and human services initiatives, including repairing head start centers and biomedical research falsilts. while i strongly supported the package -- support it the package is still not perfect. it does not fund the administration's request for community development block grants. it does not include superior senateanguage on the flexibility and cost share of army corps projects. and limits funding to health facilities that lost tens of millions of dollars due to the storm. finally, opponents of the legislation who claim that the bill is riddled with so-called
11:50pm
porkand unnecessary pvisions are just plain wrong. frankly, anyone who has really read the bill knows there are no earmarks and those who have toured the damage know aid is desperately needed. my colleagues, there were 146 major disaster declarations in the last two years. there isn't a region of the country immune to catastrophe. this packa was written with the core belief that when one region suffers destruction by a natural disaster, americans are proud to help their fellow citizens recover and rebuild. it is imperative that we support this package today, reject amendments that weaken the bill, and prevent the region from recovering as quickly as possible. yield back.
11:51pm
the chair: the gentlelady reserves the balance. the gentleman from kentucky. mr. rogers: madam speaker, i yield three minutes to the gentleman from new jersey, a member of our committee, who has been unseesing -- unceasing in his efforts to aid the people of his region. the chair: the gentleman from new jersey is recognized for three minutes. mr. frelinghuysen: at the onset i thank the leadership for help bringing this legislation to the floor. i also thank chairman hahl rogers and the appropriations committee for their assistance. one of the untold chapters of this story has been the hard work of the chairman and his staff for preparing both his amendment and mine which follows. most importantly i want to thank the chairman for his eloquent statement in the rules committee last night. his heartfelt recognition of the hardship and misery suffered by our constituents in the northeast meant a great deal to me personally and to our new jersey, new york, and connecticut delegatn.
11:52pm
oy also want to offer words of appreciation to my colleagues in new jersey and new york, their bipartisan diligence and dead quation of our staffs over the past several weeks should make all of our constituents proud. and then there's governor christi, my constituent from mars county, whose tireless work has helped us get to this day and will help us get this bill across the finish line. as he always does, he put a very human face on the devastation suffered by families and communities in new jersey and our neighbors in new york and connecticut. my colleagues, people are hurting. this afternoon in new jersey, new york, and connecticut and other areas of the northeast. the suffering and damage are real. and their needs a great. according to many states, new jersey, new york, connecticut, and the rest of the east coast sustained nearly $100 billion worth of damage. the destruction is staggering. 346,000 household units were
11:53pm
damaged in new jersey alone. tens of thousands of our fellow americans are still displaced from their homes and their apartments. municipalities are starting to provide services. many are still under emergency declarations, and some municipalities are not habitible. small businesses are decimated. many small business men and women are trying to key side -- decide if they can survive and keep their employees on the payroll. mr. chairman, the area damaged by hurricane sandy represents roughly 10% of our nation's economy. it makes good sense, economic, and fiscal to get our region back on its feet as soon as it can. i urge support of the rogers amendment and the frelinghuysen amendment. withouthese vital measures our constituents in the northeast face nothing but more delay, more uncertainty, more unemployment, and more misery. i yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman yields back. the gentlelady from new york.
11:54pm
mrs. lowey: i'm very pleased to yield two minutes to the distinguished minority whip who is extimely helpful to all of us on both sides of the aisle in bringing the bill to the floor today. mr. hoyer. the chair: gentleman from maryland is recognized tore two minutes. mr. hoyer: i thank you, madam chair. i thank the ranking member, mrs. lowey, and i thank mr. rogers for his work as well bringing this bill to the floor. i rise not only in support of the chairman's mark at $17 billion, but also for the frelinghuysen amendment. i think both of these together meet our responsibilities in responding to one of the most historic and damaging storms to hit the country. not only the northeast but to the country. people throughout new york, new jersey, connecticut, and the whole middle atlantic region are still struggling to pick up the pieces after the most devastating storm in years, and congress has a duty to help. i have said before it's never
11:55pm
too late to do t right thing. i thought we might do this previously, but now is a good time to act and hopefully today we will act. earlier this month we took action to help ensure the flood insurance benefits will be available fothose still recovering from sandy. today, however, we must finish our work and take action on the comprehensive d package that communities in the noreast need to rebuild. this is not a moment for partisan differs or gimmicks. amenng these relief bills will make it harder to get aid to those who need it as soon as possible. the american people, especially those impacted by sandy, will not look kindly on such delay. congress appropriated $62.3 billion in emergency relief, less than two weeks after huicane katrina struck new orleans and the gulf coast in 2005. i voted for that. that was the right thing to do. as it was then it is now the
11:56pm
right thing to do. there's no reason why the people of new york, new jersey, and affected areas should have to wait any longe this is a bipartisan effort. when americans are in trouble, in pain, at risk we respond not as republicans, not as democrats, but as americans to their needs. we must pass these relief bills so i urge my colleagues on both sides to oppose any amendments that diminish our ability to provide this much needed assistance. only by setting party aside and coming together as fellow americans and fellow representatives can we achieve this goal. i urge all my colleagues, not only on my side of the aisle but on the other side of the aisle, to join together to make sure that the relief necessary is gin this day to this region for this storm. i yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman from
11:57pm
kentucky. mr. rogers: i yield two minutes to the distinguished gentleman from florida, mr. young, the chairman of the defense subcommittee on appropriations, two minutes. the chair: the gentleman from florida is recognized for two minutes. mr. young: mr. chairman, thank you very much for yielding me the time. the emergency funding provided for the army corps of engineers in this bill and the amendment that you offer is narrowly drawn to help the states hardest hit by hurricane sandy. would the gentleman fromew jersey, mr. flinghuysen, the very capable and effective chairman of the energy and water development subcommittee, yield for a question? mr. frelinghuysen: i yield to you. pleasure. mr. young: despite my earlier comments, i'm concerned that the flood control and coastal emergency funds appropriated by our committee in previous acts are still available for other
11:58pm
emergency needs that occurred prior to sandy, and i would appreciate the gentleman's responsible to that. . mr. frelinghuysen: these are funds we believe that are required to respond to emergency needs for the army corps of engineers related to hurricane sandy. by approiating these funds for this direct purpose, other prior appropriated emergency funds for the corps should remain available for other needs in accordance with the direction provided by those previous acts. mr. young: mr. chairman, thank you very much for that clarification, and i yie back. mr. rogers: i reserve the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentlelady from new york. mrs. lowey: i am very pleased to yield two minutes to the distinguished ranking member of the homeland security of appropriations. the chair: the gentleman from
11:59pm
north carolina is recognized for two minutes. mr. price: i rise in support of both amendments before us. we in north carolina remember hurricane fran, hurricane floyd, and we know how important it is for congress to extend itself in an hour of need. as ranking member of the homeland security appropriations subcommittee, i note that d.h.s. would receive $5.5 billion within the base $17 billion provision, accounting for only4% of the administrators' request. also is $6.1 billion in disaster relief and $3.1 billion in disaster loans. madam speaker, without this additional $6.1 billion, fema estimates that the disaster relief fund will run out of money in may of 2013, halting long-term rebuilding in places like joplin and tuscaloosa. adopting only the $17 billion proposal does not even fully
12:00am
fund current sandy estimates, and anstonnishinglprovides no funding for other disasters in 2013. the $17 billion package also shortchanges the coast guard by about half the request and doesn't include fundings requested for i.c.e. or the secret service. now, my republican colleagues say that the supplementry $33 billion paage will address my concerns. but requiring serate votes is designed either to doom the second bill or to pass it on the backs of democrats while tea partiers are free to vote no. this is an ever example of republicans playing politics with disaster aid. members of the coast guard decimated by sandy and firefighters in breezy point trying to rebuild their devastated community. they're saying to their own constituents if disaster strikes, there's no guarantee congress will assist you. this is a dangerous precedent. madam speaker, when i was chairman of this subcommittee from 2011 to 2010, we provided
12:01am
more than $14 billion in emergency disaster relief spending following natural disasters. not once during that process did we ask who was affected, democrats or republicans, red states or blue states. we provided the money based o -- the chair: the gentleman's time has expired. mr. price: i ask for an additional 30 seconds. we gave the money without hesitation because that's what the american people expect and deserve from congress in a time of need. so, madam speaker, i will pport both of these amendments. i urge my colleagues to do likewise. the right thing to do, however, would have been to hold a vote on the bipartisan senate package sent to us back i december, and i yield back. the chair: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from kentucky. mr. rogers: i yield myself three minutes. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for three minutes. mr. rogers: and i yield to mrs. lowey, the ranking member of the committee, who by the way this is her first appearance on the floor as the new ranking democrat on the full appropriations committee, and i
12:02am
want to initially congratulate her on that position, look forward to a good working relationship with her. and i yield to the gentlelady. mrs. lowey: well, first of all, i want to thank the chairman, mr. rogers, who's been a good friend for so many years. i look forward to working together in a bipartisan way so we can work everything out before and serve the american people, and i thank you for your kind words. i rise to engage the gentleman from kentucky, the chairman of the appropriations committee, in a colloquy. some questions have been raised about the interpretation of language in both the rogers substitute and the frelinghuysen amendment under the department of health and human servis, public health and social services emergency fund. the language prohibits use of amounts in that appropriation for costs that are reimbursed
12:03am
by selassurance. i'd like to engage chairman rors in a discussion to help clarify the meaning of that provision. am i correct in understanding that the term self-insurance is intend to refer to a form of plan pursuant to law or regulation in which amounts are set aside in a fund to cover losses of specified types and amounts? am i also correct that without such a formal funded arrangement, an organization would not be considered to be selfnsured for purposes of this language simply because they do not have any commercial insurance coverage for the loss in question? mr. rogers: reclaiming my time. yes, the gentlelady's understanding is correct, and i further yield to her. mrs. lowey: i thank the gentleman. i'd like to confirm my understanding that this
12:04am
language would only proclued use of appropriated funds if the expenses in question were actually reimbursed by the formal self-insurance plan. in other words, merely having a self-insurance plan would not bar you of this appropriation, the things that the plan did not cover or pay for i ask the gentleman, is my understanding correct? mr. rogers: the gentlelady's understanding is correct. i reserve the balance. the chair: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentlelady from new york. mrs. lowey: it is a pleasure for me to yield two minut to ranking member visclosky of the defense appropriations committee. the chair: the gentleman from illinois -- indiana is recoized for two minutes. mr. visclosky: i thank the gentlelady for yielding.
12:05am
i rise today for the support of the underlying bill and the frelinghuysen amendment which will greatly assist the states and communities affected by hurricane sandy. in every year since 1997 with two exceptions, the congress has recognized the need for emergency funds to respond to the impacts of natural disasters or the nation's water infrastructure. the frelinghuysen amendment includes a total of $5 b.p. 35 billion for the army -- $5.35 billion for the army corps of engineers and whichepair existing facilities in the storm and restore projects to design standards. roughly $3.4 billion remaining will be used for the corps for projects intended to reduc future flood risk. additionally, the frelinghuysen amendment provides $88.3 million to repair facility and equipment damage to the department of defense facilities in several states
12:06am
along the eastern seaboard. this is what we should be doing as a nation. it is far less expensive to inst and prevent damage than it is to clean it up. we need to fund projects that result in a long-term sustainability of the impacted communities and reduce the economic costs and risks associated with disaster. madam chair, our country has provided billions of dollars in infrastructure funding for dams, schools and roads in iraq and afghanistan on an emergency basis. we certainly can do no less r our own citizens in our own country and urge passage of the underlying legislation and chairman frelinghuysen's amenent and yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from kentucky. mr. rogers: madam speaker, i yield two minutes to the gentleman from new jersey, mr. runyan. the chai the gentleman from
12:07am
new jersey is recognized for two minutes. mr. runyan: madam chair, i rise in support of h.r. 152, the sdagser relief appropriations act of -- disaster relief appropriations act of 2013. this bill does the minimum necessary to help towns like brick township rebuild. it does the minimum to help remove mold from their living room so they can sleep at night without worrying their children get sick from breathing mold supports. -- spores. one of my new jersey colleagues pointed out today, there are more than 30 of my colleagues who received disaster assistance for their own districts in the past and actually plan to oppose this package before us. madam chair, i would say to my friends, why should new jersey and new york be treated any differently? my friends should ask themselves, what wld they do
12:08am
if this was their district and suffered the amount of catastrophic loss that many families and businesses in my district now face? next to me, you can see damage sandy left behind from brick township. my constituents in brick have suffered for almos three months without any help from this congress. i want to be able to tell them when i go home this weekend that help is heading their way. and with that i yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the geneman yields back the balance of his time. the gentlelady from new york. mrs. lowey: madam chair, i'm pleased to yield two minutes to the distinguished chair, the ranking member of the financial services and other government programs committee, mr. serrano. the chair: the gentleman from new york is recognized for two minutes. mr. serrano: thank you very much. the chair was very nice. i rise in support of both the rogers amendment and the frelinghuysen amendment, which will finally provide new york, new jersey, connecticut and elsewhere for the funding needed to respond to hurricane
12:09am
sandy. while i am glad they were considering this bill today, it is a travesty that it has taken this long for the house of representatives to allow a vote on disaster response funding. the money in this bill and the frelinghuysen amendment is the minimum that new york, new jersey and elsewhere need for their recovery process. i'm very concerned that there are several amendments that will be considered today that seek to cut further funding from the bill. at least one amendment seeks to offset the cost of this bill. our nation has never before attempted to offset the cost of disaster assistance. the appropriations committee in the house have always come together to help americans in times of need without regard to cost. to offset cost here would effectively kill this bill in the senate and further delay assistance that is desperately needed for new york city and elsewhe. these two -- this two-step process is the proper way to
12:10am
go. i would just add in closing that we in new york have always seen images of disasters in other areas, but we never imagined anything like this happening in our area. we understand what other folks have gone through, and i hope you understand the need we have to recover. the pain, the suffering, the despair that people in o community feel is beyond anything we could i pledge allegiance to the flag of the united states of america or we can imagine in new york. so this aid will at the minimum immediately send a message that we care and we want something to happen positive, and in fact people will begin to recover. and so i thank mr. rogers and mrs. lowey for bringing the bill to the floor, and i will ask folks to vote for both amendments and for the bill in general. the chair: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from kentucky. mr. rogers: madam chair, i yield two minutes t the gentleman from staten island, new york city, mr. grimm. the chair: the gentleman from new york is recognized for two minutes. mr. grimm: thank you very much,
12:11am
chairman. i appreciate you yielding. madam chair, let me first start by saying thk you to the many, many colleagues on both sides of the aisle that have been working tirelessly, and a special thank you to their staff, not only the rules committee but appropriations and all those from new york and new jersey. many, many staffers have stayed up more than 24 hours to make this happen, and i am indebted to them and i know the people of staten island are very, very grateful. this is a time that is very unique in our history. we just started tearing down the homes in staten island. new york is tearing down 200, and they started in staten island. when i was there this past weekd, a mother came up to me and i asked her how she was doing. she said, i'm ok but i'm worried about my children. i said why. she said because they start crying hysterically when it rains.
12:12am
they cry when it rains because they think there's going to be another flood, and they're scared. so at the end of the day when we debate the various amendments in the bill and its merits, all i ask is that everyone in this blessed chamber remember that there are real people, human beings that are behind all this, and at the end of the day, if it was our families, i know that they would want them to be safe and healthy and the support of the entire country behind them. so with that i thank, again, my colleagues that have worked tirelessly. i thank the staff members, and i thank you for this opportunity to speak and i yield back. the chair: the gentleman yields back. the gentlelady from new york. mrs. lowey: madam chair, i'm pleased to give two minutes to th distinguished gentleman from california, george miller.
12:13am
the chair: the gentleman from california is recognized for two minutes. . mr. miller: i thank the gentlewoman for yielding and i rise to engage the chairman, the gentleman from kentucky, of the appropriations committee, on a colloquy. as the chairman knows, superstorm sandy displed thousands of children from their homes, leaving them homeless and struggling to regain stability in their lives. many of these children were forced to move out of their school districts while others could not return to their schools because the storm damage. these children had trauma. fortunately under the current law, the homeless assistant act, homeless student, including those displaced by disasters, are entitled to important educational protections and services including transportation to stay in the same school. public schools in new york, new jersey, nnecticut are working tirelessly to support
12:14am
uninterrupted education of displad children through the program. yet these schools face significant unexpected costs associated with the increased number of homeless students. congress has appropriated supplemental funds to help defer the costs associated with these increase -- these increases from past disasters. mr. chairman, if i might, give than the bill before us today does not contain direct funding for the program, is it your understanding that the intentions of the department of health and human services and the department of education work with the states of new york, new jersey, connecticut to assist the school districts affected by superstorm sandy, to access funds under the social services block grant to support the education of students displaced by the storm, including the transportation, counseling and supplies? i yield tohe gentleman. mr. rogers: i thank the gentleman for yielding. yes. that is my understanding. and intention. as you know, congress previously has recognized the critical role all schools play in creating stability and
12:15am
meeting the educational needs of children and youth displaced by disasters. the flexibility of the ssbg has proven crucial in responding to the many needs that arise in the aftermath of natural disasters. chad: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from california. mrs. lowey: an additional 30 seconds. mr. rogers: transporting displaced students is an allowae service and i encourage h.h.s. and affected states to work with affected school districts and promptly provide any reimbursements for these critical services. mr. miller: i thank the gentleman very much and i want to thank you and the staff of the majority and minority for helping to work out this solution. thank you very much. chad: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from kentucky. lodge rodge -- mr. rogers: i recogne the gentleman from mississippi, mr. palazzo, for three minutes.
12:16am
chad: the gentleman from mississippi is recognized for three minutes. mr. palazzo: thank you, madam speaker. i rise in favor of the sandy reef package that's being considered today. i want to thank chairman rogers and the appropriations committee for their work to bring this bill to the floor in a responsible manner and address many of the concerns that some in this body had. i also want to take this opportunity once more to thank my colleagues for their work on yesterday's sandy relief improvement act that brought much-needed reforms for our disaster relief system. this bill that passed the house animously is a good first step in streamlining the disaster relief process and savinghe country money and lives. these are the kinds of commonsense refor that must continue to be a part of the disaster relief conversation. a little over a week ago i voted against adding more debt to a failing system without reforms. many might have coeagues ined me in that vote and i know some still have reservations about the package before the house today. i spoke in -- i've spoken to many of these colleagues. i understand concerns about the
12:17am
fiscal state of our nation, i understand your position and respect your vote. but while we continue to do the responsible thing by looking for ways t pay for future disaster relief, we must do what is necessary to help those in the northeast. and we must do it now. let me just say a vote for yesterday's reform package which passed the house unanimously and a vote for today's relief package allows us to move forward in a way that begins to address much-needed reforms while at the same time providing the immediate relief that sandy victims so desperately need. i saw those needs up close and personal when i visited some of the hardest-hit areas of new jersey and new york last week. it brought back vivid images of hurricane katrina and the destruction that my home state of mississippi experienced seven years ago. distris like those of my friends, congressman runyan and grimm, are similar to those along the gulf coast after katrina. their constituents experienced a terrible natural disaster and they need our help.
12:18am
so today we consider provisions that provide immediate relief for sandy victims while allowing them to build forward, not just back. that will strengthen these communities in the face of future storms. we cannot wait another seven years, we cannot wait unt the next disaster before we take up these reforms. today's vote for immiate relief is about giving the sandy victims the help they need now. it is vital to the recovery efforts of the northeast, it is vital to making our communities more resilient and it is vital to ensuring better preparedness and respse to future storms. so i urge my colleagues to support the disaster relief package. i yield back. chadthe gentleman yields back. the gentlelady from new york. mrs. lowey: madam chair, i am delighted to yield two minutes to the distinguished dean of the new rk delegation, mr. rangel. chad: the gentleman from new york is recognized for two minutes. mr. rangel: thank you so much, mrs. lowey. i want to thank chairman rogers
12:19am
for the manner in which he's handled this crises and certainly congratute mrs. lowey for the leadership that she has divided this house over the years -- provided this house over the years, but especially at the time we needed her the most. at she was there to bring the people together, republicans and democrats, to do the right thing. i want to thank, too, and encourage the new members of congress to take advantage of this great opportunity they have to see wh the house of representatives is all about, notwithstanding the bad publicity that we get. for whatever reasons the 11th congress failed to respondo the feeling -- 112th congress failed to respond to the feeling and fabric of this body, where every american would know that if ever they were involved in a crises, earthquake, flood or fires, they could depend on their colleagues in the house of representatives to respond.
12:20am
it was never a question of whether they were democrats or republicans, whether they came from a red state or a blue state, it was how fast can we help? and you can depend on that help. for whatever the reason the 112th congress failed, but now we ask new members to join with those that were here before in bringing together people in this congress who once again rebuild that reputation -- to once again rebuild that reputation that we had so rightly enjoyed and that is that if you have any type of problem in this great nation and you need the help of your colleagues, you can depend on the house of representatives, the people's house, in coming forward to provide those aids. we cannot bring back the lives, the homes and the hopes that so many people have lost. but we can say in the people's house we respond to the problems that people have. i thank you again, mrs. lowey, for the leadership you provided and i lookorrd to working with y and chairman rogers in
12:21am
the future. chad: jat yield -- the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from kentucky. mr. rogers: may i inquire of the time remaining. chad: the gentleman from kentucky has 14 minutes remaining. the gentlelady from new york has 12 1/2 minutes remaining. the gentleman from kentucky. mr. rogers: i yield two minutes to the gentleman from colorado, mr. gardner. chad: thgentleman from colorado is recognized for two minutes. mr. gardner: thank you. i introduced funding for the emergency watershed protection programming to about -- to be used for any area that had a mar disaster. apts an important program that allows for watershed and infrastructure restoration. many parts of the western united states were devastated by wildfires last summer. there were over 100,000 acres of land as well as over 600 homes destroyed in these fires. the program will help communities and others of the
12:22am
united states rebuild and prevent future damage to people and property. unfortunately this bipartisan amendment offered with other members of the colorado delegation did not get through the rules committee process and so it will not be considered on the house floor today. the tragedy caused by hurricane sandy necessitates assistance from the federal government. but it's also important that disaster assistance be available to other areas that experience natural disasters. particularly those when it comes to federal lands. i ask the chairman to consider working with me and other members for wildfire restoration. mr. rogers: will the gentleman yield? mr. gardner: i will yield. mr. rogers: first i want to thank the gentleman from colorado for his work on the emergey watershed program. i'm aware of the need for this assistance and i look forward to working with you and others to address this important funding in future legislation. mr. gardner: i thank the chairman for his work and support and i yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman yields back. the gentlelady from new york.
12:23am
mrs. lowey: madam chair, i am pleased to yield two minutes to the distinguished gentleman, mr. moran. the chair: the gentleman from virginia is recognized for two minutes. mr. moran: welcome a new running backing member of the full appropriations committee -- ranking member of the full appropriations committee who also hails from neyork and full ynds what's involved here. -- fully understands what's involved here. do unto others as you would ha them do unto you. that's what all the members of this body should ask themselves . if they were in the situation of the states that were so severely impacted by hurricane sandy, how would they vote? the fact is that natural disasters are occurring with
12:24am
more frequency and with greater severity. and so there's a very good chance that in nearly every congressional district in this country this may happen you. and of course when it does, property values go way down. in fact, billions of dollars can be lost, certainly were with hurricane sandy. so where does the municipality get thmoney to repair? likewise with the state. the only place you turn to, you can turn to, is the federal government. that's why we are here. we're in this together. so this is not about the northeast vs. the rest of the country. one part of our body, if you will, of states has been severely injured. we need to repair that damage.
12:25am
now, within the interior and environment appropriations there's money for wastewater and sewer treatment projects, things tt haven to be done -- have to be done. we have to provide that ney. i think we have about a billion and a half dollars to do that. certainly if we september the rogers-frelinghuysen -- if we accept the rogers-frelinghuysen amendment. and this bill is whole with that amendment which we should strongly support. there's an amendment to require -- to take away mr. frelinghuysen's effort to allow a waiver on historic preservation. well, yes, it should be done. these localities don't hav that kind of money. and a lot of the revenue coming into ese economies is coming from tourism. they come to see historic
12:26am
structures. they come to see theay that many parts of the northeast were. when we were building the foundation of this country. that money should be made available in whole with federal dollars. mr. frelinghuysen's amendment is right on point. it needs to be included. so i know i'm getting to -- i've got a good speech written to thank you. we've got wonderful staff. but the fact is this is an opportunity -- mrs. lowey: i'm pleased to yield another minute. mr. moran: another minute. thank you, thank you, madam chair. the fact is that this is an opportunity to show what we're all about. do unto others as we would have them do unto us. let's make this money available. let the northeast repair itself, heal itself, get that economy back on its feet, start returning revenue to the federal government. the fa is that these northeast states contribute
12:27am
mo to the federal treasury than they get out of the federal treasury. so let's get this done. and we want to recognize the chairman rogers' supplemental, the very good work that mr. frelinghuysen from new jersey has done, and of course mrs. lowey. this is a good bill. it's urgent that we pass it. let's get this done. these negative amendments that try to take away money to make ideological points are simply out of order right now. let's heal this wound. let's let this economy and the northeast get back on its feet. we'll all be better off. thank you, madam speaker. the chair: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from kentucky. mr. rogers: i reserve. the chair: the gentleman continues to reserve the balance. the gentlelady from new york. mrs. lowey: madam chair, i am very pleased to yield two minutes to the distinguished gentleman from new jersey who's been extraordinarily helpful in trying to sort out the
12:28am
challenges on this bill. mr. andrews. the chair: the gentleman from new jersey is recoized for o minutes. . without objection. mr. andrews: i thank my friend for yielding and i thank the chairman of the appropriations committee and my friend for working together to bring this product to the floor. i've heard two objections to this bill. the first is that it's too -- that money is spent in the wrong places, and the second is the amount of money altother is too costly. let me try to address those objections. the money being spent in the wrong places, i would respectfully request that members who have an objection read the legislation, because thughout the legislation when it refers to the money to be spent it ss that the moneys to be spent on -- and i'm quoting -- necessary funds related to the consequences of hurricane sandy, end quote. now, there's one exception to this that i read, and it is
12:29am
limited to situations where there were prior disasters that are not yet cleaned up. so this is a bill that deals almost exclusively with the sandy disaster, and to the extent it does not, deals with lingering problems in other parts of the country from those disasters. so those who would argue that the amount of money in the bill is too much to begin with, i would offer you this question. if you're running a busess and you d 100 manufacturing plants and sales offes around the country and 15 of them were shut down by a storm, so 15% of your available revenue was no longer available to you, what would you do? you'd pair those 15 manufacturing facilities and sales offices as quickly as you could in order to restore the health of your company and the growth of your revenue. that is exactly what this bill does. the taxpayers of new york,
12:30am
connecticut and new jersey, three states, contribute more than 15% of the individual and corporate tax revenues collected in the united states of america. 15% from three states. if y shut down that engine of production, the whole country suffers. i would ask the gentlelady for 30 more seconds. i thank the gentlelady. this is an occasion for the house of representatives to rise above normal parochial politics. when the disast struck the gulf, we were all mustians or lanans. when -- mississippiians or louisianans. when there have been earthquakes that hit the west coast of the country, we were all citizens of california. we're asking members from coast to coast throughout our country today to walk in the shoes of new yorkers and citizens of connecticut and new jersey.
12:31am
if we understand that we have a common purpose, that this legislation does focus almost exclusively on the sandy disaster and then focus what it does not focus on sandy on other disasters and we understand that 15% of the economic engine of thicountry is at risk of being shut down, then we will all be people who cast the same vote and the right vote which is yes. i yield bk. the chair: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from kentucky. mr. rogers: reserve my time. the chair: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentlelady from new york. mrs. lowey: madam chair, i am delighted to yield one minute to our distinguished leader and who has been such an advocate for the assistance to new york, new jersey, connecticut and pennsylvania, understanding that every part of the country has catastrophes and we as americans have a responsibility, and i thank you for your leadership.
12:32am
the chair: the gentlelady from california is recognized. ms. pelosi: i thank the gentlelady for yielding. i congratulate her on assuming the ranking position on the appropriations committee and how good it is for our country and to the people affected by hurricane -- superstorm sandy that congresswoman lowey, now ranking member lowey, is in the position to fight for their needs as the senior democrat on the appropriations committee. thank you for your leadership, and thank you, mr. rogers, for yours as well. this should be a day that we shed all of our disagreement about political differences and the rest and come togeth to prayerfully meet the needs of the people of our country. whether it's california with earthquakes, drought, fire, flood, whatever, whether it was
12:33am
iowa with the floods, missouri was so affected, joplin, of course katrina, emblazoned in our mind, and hurricane i on the heels of that, we all across the country have experienced natural disasters which have had a direct impact on the lives of the american pele. i really do believe that for all the purposes that people send us to congress or elect us to public office, whether it's county executive or a member of congress, is they expect us to do what is right for them when they are in most need of our help. many things we can do for ourselves, but some things are just beyond the most determined resourceful -- determined, resourceful, operational people n do and that is when a
12:34am
natural disaster strikes. so while we have had our conversationsbout what should be in the bill and how the bill should be bifurcated or in this case trifurcated and all the rest, when we have this vote today it will sweep away some of the concerns that people ha about whether this assistance is going to actually show up. 79 days, 79 days since hurricane sandy struck the region. last year it was irene that struck much of the same area. some of the people haven't really fully recovered from that. whether was the small business owner or homeowner or whatever, and now sandy. such a tremendous force. others have talked about, how
12:35am
do you mitigate for such a thing? how do you address issues related to climate change? we'll save that conversation for another day but recognize its importance in this discussion. how do you mitigate for rebuilding? and that's important in terms of the resources that we're putting to bear on this problem. so let us today try to extract from the minds and the heart and souls of the people who are affected any thought that the assistance will not be there. they know there's a lot of making up they have to do to restore the lives and businesses and homes that they had before. they should also know that when we say let us pray for the victims of hurricane sandy, we're just not saying a prayer and say that should be a substitute for us honoring our commitment as a country to our people but that our prayers are accompanied by our best intentions and our best actions
12:36am
, not just words, for them. this is one of the longest delays in congressional action in response to a major natural disaster in recent history. for many of us, again, whoever seen or can confirm the aftermath of a hurricane or tornado and earthquake, whatever, we know that every single day is too long to wait. hope can never come fast enough. we canno let another moment, hour, day go by without giving the biggest possible vote of confidence and hope to the people of new york, new jersey, connecticut and se, i understand, in pennsylvania. so we had our say. we made our points known. the justification has been established. the documentation of need is clear. the bipartisan support of the governor of new jersey, the governor of new york, t governor of connecticut and others stands ready to
12:37am
implement these resources with the most integrity, the most effectiveness, certainly the -- witness the action of the mayor of new york. i smile when i say that because mayors, they just like to get a job done. and governors too. so let us as these executives and county executives and the rest weigh in, let us do our part to honor the social compact that we have of the american people that the federal government will be there at a time of a natural disaster, that this is an emergency and we recognize it so and that we honor the hopes, dreams, aspirations of the people affected. so i hope we can have an overwhelming, bipartisan vote because from a practical standpoint -- i think ideally, and with our sense of idealism, that would be the right thing
12:38am
to do. but as a practicalatter we just never know what mother nature may have in sto for you in your region, and you would certainly want the embrace of the entire nation around you in your area for your constituents, for your community, for our country. so i urge a very strong bipartisan vote. i thank our colleagues on both sides of the aisle for making this vote today possible and urge, again, an aye vote and yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman from kentucky. mr. rogers: i reserve the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentlelady from new york. mrs. lowey: i'm very pleased to yield three minutes to mr. crowley of new york whose district has really seen incredible damage. he understands the impact of hurricane sandy and the people, the community and the
12:39am
businesses. mr. crowley. the chair: the gentleman from new york is recognized for three minutes. mr. crowley: i thank the gentlelady for yielding much such time. in the days following superstorm sandy, many of my colleagues from both sides of the aisle reached out to me and i think they did the same throughout the quad state region, expressing their sympathies and the concern. while they weren't able to see firsthand the devastation, everyone had a sense, i think, of that devastation by the footage they saw on television and over the internet. it was pretty powerful. everyone i think was astonished of the magnitude. we are not used to having such disasters in new york city. as everyone was shocked to see the extent of damage, homes literally wiped away, businesses destroyed,
12:40am
floodwaters consuming people's living rooms and completely overturning their lives. and the damage wasn't just in one city or one town or for that matter one state. from breezy point, queens to edgewater, in my district in the bronx, from manhattan to brooklyn to staten island to westchester, to long island, from the coasts of pennsylvania,new jersey, all the way over to connecticut, so many people's livewere wrecked by this powerful storm. while words are kind and they're very much appreciated, action behind those words are even more appreciated. today finally i believe we'll have the opportunity to see action. 79 days later and far too much politics in betwee this congress is doing what the people of the -- these communities need and what the american people demand, taking action.
12:41am
i'm thankful to this congress. i'm thankful that it's finally taking the action to help the people of my district and the millions of other people hit hard by this enormous storm. i want to thank all of my colleagues from new york, new jersey, connecticut and pennsylvania for our shared coitment to getting this done and never letting partisanship surrounding this debate divide us. a special thanks to democratic whip steny hoyernd ranking member nita lowey as well as along with their staffs who have driven this process from day one. i want to thank you both. this bill will provide district assistance to communities devastated by superstorm sandy and would help restore and replace damaged or destroyed infrastructure and will put in place cost saving measures to prevent further damage when, when and not if future storms occur. i would just urge any of my colleagues, democrat or republican, who are considering
12:42am
voting against either the frelinghuysen amendment or the overall bill to just for a moment put yourself in one of your colleague's shoes. i don't wish superstorm sandy or anything like it on any of my colleagues anywhere in the united states, but the one thing you need to know is that if this happens that your country will be there for you. the damage physical -- the physical damage, but also the mental damagthat people are experiencing because they think that the country has forgotten don't forget these people. do the right thing. vote for this bill. the chair: the gentleman from kentucky. mr. rogers: i reserve the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman from kentucky reserves the balance of his time. the gentlelady from new york. mrs. lowey: madam chair, i'm very pleased to yield two minutes to the distinguished gentleman from a neighboring district in new york who suffered a great deal. he saw the pain and the loss of property and homes all throughout the region, mr. enl. the chair: the gentleman from new york is recognized for two minutes. mr. engel: well, thank you.
12:43am
i thank my dear friend, congresswoman lowey, for yielding to me. i urge all of our colleagues to support the aid for the hurricane sandy victims. . we have lot of disagreements in this congress. we talk about a lot of issues, about spending, taxing, offsets, whatever. those are issues, those fights on those issues should be left for another day. it shouldn't be intermixed with the fight to get money to superstorm sandy victims. they shouldn't be innocent pawns in this fight we have in congress. i've been in this congress for a while now and i have voted for aid for all regions of our country. be it katrina, be it floods and tornadoes. we didn't even think twice because that is what americans do. we help other communities, help
12:44am
other americans. and there are natural disasters. we do it because it's the thing we have to do. now it's our turn. now we need help. now we say to the rest of america, please help us the way we helped you in your hour of need. the constituents in my district, in westchester and the bronx and my former district in rockland county are hurting very, very much. these are real people with real lives and real difficulties. so i beg my colleagues, please. don't vote for any poison pills that will kill this legislation . one of the things that's really irksome when some of my colleagues who stood up, when they had natural disasters in their district, begged us for help and we gave to them now. are voting against giving help
12:45am
to the people of new york, new jersey, connecticut and pennsylvan. it's just not right. we can argue what role the federal government should play, whether it's too big or too small or whatever. but no one should argue against the fact that when americans are in need, the federal government has a role in stepping in and helping them and providing for their needs. that's all we're asking for today. i urge my colleagues to support all the aid for hurricane sandy and to reject any the amendments that were taken away. thank you and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from kentucky. mr. rogers: madam chairman, i have no further requests for time. i'm prepared to close if the gentlelady is. mrs. lowey: that's fine. the chair: the gentlelady from new york has 30 seconds remaining. mrs. lowey: mr. chairman, i'll respond in 30 seconds and then defer. mr. chairman, i'd like to again thank you and mr. freelien
12:46am
hughesen for your -- frelinghuysen for your hard work on this bill and d like to address all those who aren't sure about how they're going to vote on this bill and i would like to clarify. the way this appropriation works. when you have huge disasters, transit systems, tunnels, thousands of homes that have to be repaired, you need that money committed before you can engage any contractor, any bill that's in a contract. now, as you and i know, mr. chairman, we worked a long time on that committee and before a dollar goes out, the person has to be responsible for every dollar that is committed, that they spent and that they're going to spend. so we're not just writing an open check. we're just not opening our checkbook. we're responding to these tremendous needs and i do hope we can get a bipartisan vote for this effort. thank you, madam chair. the chair: the gentleman from keucky. mr. rogers: madam chairman, i
12:47am
>> (two begins at 11:45 a.m. eastern. -- live coverage begins at 11:45 a.m. eastern. the sec and agenda is live at 2:30 p.m. eastern. >> next, i discussion on issues
12:48am
impacting the gulf coast, it involving national disasters and a look back at hurricane sandy. this is in our. -- hour. >> our next guest ring calm -- brings home many events impacting each other on a more regional scale. this time we look at the gulf coast. we are familiar with a wide range of issues, ranging from hurricanes, wetlands loss, and the impacts they have an storm impacts, the deepwater horizon spill. today the speakers on this panel is marcia mcnutt, the
12:49am
director of the u.s. geological survey. jerome --i'm hoping i'm pronouncing -- excuseme me. he is the executive director of the coastal protection restoration authority of louisiana and part of the gulf of mexico alliance, a group of leaders from all of the gulf coast states. nancy is the executive director of the marine resource he him -- at louisiana university. congratulations to nancy. our fourth speaker, i have known time.ie for a long
12:50am
he is a public health expert. he works at the university of pittsburgh, if i remember correctly. he is not the chair of a outreach of a golulf program that came from the deepwater horizon settlement. our moderator for this dialogue is a retired admiral. if those of you that were in the least bit awake during the deepwater horizon event, you would have seen on the tv so much that he is now an honorary member of the media. we considered him based on his extensive media presence to be an ideal person because he knows
12:51am
so much about the subject matter and he is phenomenal in front of the camera. on that note, if any can come to the on-site legislation -- with that, over to you. >> oh, i guess it does work. good morning. it is a double pleasure to be here in the presence of this panel and to be with these colleagues that are knowledgeable about the topics we will cover this morning. they have already been introduced. i will not do that again. aley have an extraordinary t ent. i'm honored to be on the podium with them. this morning we will talk a little bit about the gulf of mexico. if i could maybe make some remarks, then i will pass it to
12:52am
the panel and a certain sequence. i would like you all to think a little bit about what converges in the gulf of mexico. i think part of the uniqueness of that body of water and every body of water can claim some type of uniqueness is the extraordinary, natural environment there and ecosystems. if you look at the confluence of great waters of the mississippi river straight to florida, that channel, look at the diversity in the gulf of mexico. and you start to look at the challenges of the interaction of the natural world and demante man made world. this is a very complex part of the world where you bring that economic and public infrastructures that have been built. we have an increasing population and expansion of the
12:53am
infrastructure. there is increasing interaction with the natural environment, greater degrees of complexity. we start introduced complex climate change and issues of uncertainty. the level of the types of events that occurred in the consequences grows. we know the frequency is increasing. today we will talk a little bit about this unique area of the world from a couple of different perspectives. i want you to think of a couple of eggs as we do that. first, the concept of resiliency. several months ago the national academy of sciences reduced a natural -- a report on how to think differently about our regions and ecosystems and interactions of the human built and the natural environment. having done many months in the
12:54am
gulf uncertain different disasters and crises that were down there, i have come to think of resiliency as similar to the human immune system. the pre-existing conditions are not created by the event, but to the extent that they are present. they are exacerbated and magnified in the consequences of what are going on. in resiliency, i go beyond what you do to my data structures. i'm talking about social capital. i'm talking about populations. about how we create supply chains after events occur and how the infrastructure can help or hurt us. and talk about the resiliency of the infrastructure. everything that allows us to understand what occurs every asked to it. we can learn how do mitigate. with that in mind, we will take
12:55am
a couple different views of the golf as we move forward. it will be interested in carrying out a dialogue with all of you. let me start off first with nancy. again, her bio is in the program. i will not repeat it. i will tell you that i learned today that she has been awarded the mccarthy rise. i would like you -- prize. i would like you all to congratulate her. [applause] nancy, you have the microphone. >> thank you. and no, i am not buying you lunch. [laughter] he said a lot of things i was going to say in my opening comments. the gulf of mexico is extremely productive and dynamic system. a lot of that is driven by the mississippi river, which is 41% of the lower 48 states. it has a major influence on the water
12:56am
quality and the geology. the resulting the 6 -- i'm sorry, the resulting high productivity fisheries and other economic things, high carbon, oil and gas for the area. the area is what we called multiple stressors. sometimes there are multiple insults as well. this is the confluence of human and natural processes ongoing. there are a couple of highlights, and natural problems in louisiana, including offshore, sometimes called the dead zone. the high land loss rate in the area. the confluence of the oil and gas industry.
12:57am
it also depends on the living resources of the fisheries. a lot of natural dynamics, the plane is changing and wants to change all the time even if people do not want it to change. local areas are subject to sea level rise. it seems like the always occurring hurricanes that impact our system so dramatically. the other issue is long-term subsidence. it is a dynamic delta. some things will change no matter what we tried to do. there will be many issues facing us as we go into restoration of this area with the restore act. the idea is that this should he based on the knowledge that we have accrued over the years.
12:58am
it should benefit the well-being of both the natural system and the human system. we need to make wise decisions and hopefully do no harm to the system in the process. >> thank you, nancy. have bernard -- next we have nernardbernard. we're looking at the the new york state response to hurricane sandy. some things have crossed my view and some of the issues that i dealt with. it has do with health and safety and how you deal with large populations and how to bring a response force in and make sure the safety and health is maintained what you're trying to do this. we look forward to your comments. >> thank you. i will speak about a very specific row gram that has been
12:59am
developed with the goal of resilience related to public health that program -- program that has been developed with the goal of resilience related to public health. as nancy said, there is a very unique situation in the gulf. we would add to it that there are a unique group of people with relatively important health needs. the state, the areas tend to rank in the 40's among the 50 states in healthcare than any indicator of general we're dealing with a population that does not have great access to health care and does not have a strong health basis as it needs. the rest of us have access to and as you know, we in the